Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 3)

Saturday was supposed to be the first race meeting at Seoul to take place with fans in attendance since last November, but it was not to be. And while the vaccination program has made rapid progress, as case numbers continue to rise in the Seoul and Gyeonggi area (337 new cases in the capital on Friday), it seems questionable that permission will be granted any time soon. For more background on the abrupt but not unexpected about-turn made by the local authorities see here. There are 9 races at Seoul on Saturday from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 33 Million

Fillies kick us off and (4) CHOEGANG QUEEN looks ready to win at what will be start number three for her. She has a 3rd and a 2nd from her two starts so far, both times racing handy and running on in creditable times. She drew wide on both occasions but gets a much better gate today and can make her breakthrough here. (2) LEAD VOCAL is the only runner in the field to already have a victory to her name. That came two starts back in fine fashion when she made all over 1400M in an impressive time on a wet track. She was 5th on her reappearance in early May but won a trial in good order a couple of weeks ago and should be the main danger here. (7) SOBERANIA did nothing much wrong when 4th on debut back in May and can build on that today while (1) FLYING FULL MOON and (8) MODERN BEST are others who have placing chances among this small field.

Selections(4) Choegang Queen (2) Lead Vocal (7) Soberania (1) Flying Full Moon
Next Best8
Fast Start1, 2, 4, 7

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million

The first event of the season for previously unraced two-year-olds race of the season brings with it boosted prize money and no form, so we have to head to the trial videos. Accordingly, (7) YUKWAEHAN NALDEUL is set to jump as favourite having made all to win his qualification trial in early May before doing similar in another voluntary trial, although this time sitting handy, at the end of that month. If he brings that form to the races, he’ll be hard to beat first up. (8) BYEOLI SUNGAN only finished 6th in his heat but the time was a fast one as the trial field that day included some class 1 and class 2 horses and he acquitted himself well. Moon Se Young rode him in the heat and partners him first-up here so he is bound to get plenty of backing. (9) YESULIYA beat a couple of his fellow debut-makers here when running 2nd in his May 21st trial. He led until the final furlong and posted a good time on a wet track. With just nine runners, the wide draw shouldn’t be too problematic. (5) BENCAL PRINCESS made all to win her heat and while the time wasn’t fast, she was a long way clear of the rest of the field and should be able to go well. (3) ROAD ACE didn’t catch the eye in his qualification trial but improved in a voluntary trial two weeks ago when he looked more assured and if he can improve again on that, can be in the finish.

Selections(7) Yukwaehan Naldeul (8) Byeoli Sungan (9) Yesuliya (3) Road Ace
Next Best5, 4
Fast Start1, 5, 7, 9

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

Back to the class 6 fillies here and it is hard to look past (3) AQUA PUNCH. She finished well back on debut but stepped up to score at start number two over 1300M on June 6th. She sat handy that day striking the front in the final furlong and going on well and from a similar draw in what looks a significantly easier assignment, she’ll be hard to beat. (4) ADVANCE has a 3rd place to her name and while that was over 1000M, she comes in under a nice light weight under the same apprentice who rode her that day. She draws well and if she can get a close position early, she can be in the finish. So too can (2) BORI BORI who ran on well from midfield last time for a good, if well-beaten, 4th place. That was her best to date and she can build on it here. (7) CHOENTAP too gets a bit of a weight allowance and may improve in weak company.

Selections(3) Aqua Punch (4) Advance (2) Bori Bori (7) Choentap
Next Best1, 6
Fast Start3, 4, 5, 6

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 33 Million

Three-year-old maidens go around here. (2) IMUGI is set to be the warm favourite having made steady progress across four starts so far including back to back 4th place finishes in his most recent outings at 1200M and 1400M. He steps up to seven furlongs for the first time and from a good draw he can sit handy and then run on and be too strong in the finish. (9) RUN RUN RUN ran out of track at his latest start but when he got well back before running on strong for 6th place. Choi Bum-hyun remains aboard and his first go at an extended trip may be in his favour. The same can be said for (6) WONDERFUL DEVIL, who has settled towards the back of the field at each of her three starts so far before finishing well and similarly looks like she may appreciate a bit of distance. (5) MAGIC JOY and (7) GRAND STAR are others in the hunt for places.

Selections(2) Imugi (9) Run Run Run (6) Wonderful Devil (5) Magic Joy
Next Best7, 1
Fast Start1, 2, 8, 9
(more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 2)

In the least surprising news of the year so far, the reopening of Seoul Racecourse as well as capital region OTBs will not now go ahead from this weekend.

Due to a rise in the number of Covid positives in the Seoul and Gyeonggi area, local governments have decided to hold off on altering their social distancing guidelines for at least another week. This means that while baseball and football stadiums in Seoul may accommodate 30% of capacity (including the completely enclosed Gocheok Skydome), racing is permitted 0%. However, outside of Seoul, the new levels will come into effect meaning the permitted capacity level in those locations has risen to 50%.

Open this week will be the racecourses in Busan and Jeju as well as OTBs in Busan (two of them), Changwon, Daegu, Cheonan and Gwangju. A total of approximately 11,000 punters will be allowed across the south of the country.

At the same time, the bill to permit online betting on horse racing once more failed to pass the National Assembly Agriculture Committee last week. Online betting on track cycling as well as lottery and sports betting is now legal, however, they are overseen by different ministries.

For the first Friday thoroughbred meeting of 2021, there are just 5 races (local punters will be betting on simulcast pony racing from Jeju as well) abd here are the previews:

Nice sky anyway

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

A distinctly average set of gallopers line up in race 1. (8) TAEPUNGI was a distant 3rd on debut behind King Allie when racing prominently throughout before running a less convincing 7th over the same 1000M distance on reappearance in June. She did run on though and the step up in trip for the first time may be to her benefit. The trainer/jockey combination will attract plenty and she will probably start as favourite. (6) BUSAN ACE has recorded the fastest time of these at the distance, although that is perhaps faint praise. She mixes her form but based on her effort two starts back when she led for much of the race, ultimately finishing 2nd and beating Doctor Giants, who has subsequently gone on to win twice, she warrants consideration. (10) WONDERFUL LADY came from well back to run on for 5th place over 1300M on May 30th. She’s nicely weighted again and while she drops back in trip, should be looking for a career-best finish here. (1) K.B. HONOR and (2) INDY DANCER are others who have hinted at ability and also may improve.

Selections(8) Taepungi (6) Busan Ace (10) Wonderful Lady (2) Indy Dancer
Next Best1, 3
Fast Start3, 6, 7, 9

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

Good little race this with three standouts. Not much to choose between them but (5) POKPUNG JILJU might be the improving one. He ran a decent 3rd working home strongly behind Gold Fountain on his first try at this distance on May 30th. It was a decent time on a good rated track and he can better it here. (2) YEONGGWANGUI SPEED has managed to maintain good consistency over six starts spread across eighteen months. At his latest start he came from off the pace to run home strongly for 2nd place to Queen Of The Queen in a fast time, albeit assisted by a sloppy track. A similar performance today puts him in the finish again. (3) FIGHT DREAM led for much of his latest outing at this distance, being passed ultimately in the final 300M to finish 4th. He has shown he is capable of running decent times and merits some thought here. (1) SIMON TOP GUN flew home late for 4th over 1300M last time out and may appreciate the step up in trip.

Selections(5) Pokpung Jilju (2) Yeonggwangui Speed (3) Fight Dream (1) Simon Top Gun
Next Best7, 8
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 9

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

Fillies and mares only here and the banker favourite is among them. (4) SAGARMATHA has finished no worse than 3rd in any of her five starts to date with two wins among them. Last time out on May 8th, she beat four of these on her way to 2nd place in a very similar class and distance race. She carries an additional kilo today but she draws better and should be winning this. Having said that, she only narrowly finished ahead of (10) MASTER QUEEN in that race and the latter filly has gone on to since put in another good performance, finishing 2nd at class and distance on June 5th. She led that day as is her style and while the barrier may not be in her favour today, she has a good start on her and we can expect here to work around to challenge for the early lead again. (7) SECOND WIND comes up in class following a breakout victory over 1400M three weeks ago. She had mixed her form prior to that and this is a stiffer test but further improvement can’t be ruled out. (3) HANHYEOLMA and (5) GREAT GO are other potential dangers.

Selections(4) Sagarmatha (10) Master Queen (7) Second Wind (3) Hanhyeolma
Next Best5, 9
Fast Start3, 4, 8, 10

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

(5) MR. FUSION ran out a three-length winner at class and distance on May 29th. That was his second career win but he has never finished worse than 4th. He has performed well when both handy or from coming from further back and while he does go up 3kg today, he has every chance of scoring again. Meeting him at better weights than last time is (4) SMART MOD, who was 3rd in that May 29th race. He settled back and then ran on strong and while that day he was conceding 1kg to Mr. Fusion, today he is getting 1.5kg. He has three-and-a-half lengths to overturn from last time and can be a danger. (2) CRONUS is a two-time winner at this distance and comes in off a good 3rd place last time out. He is nicely weighted again and he’ll aim to come from off the pace and hit the line strong. (3) MINYEOBONG finished in midfield on her first try at this class over 1200M on May 22nd. She ran well enough on her only previous try at this distance last year and could be a place chance in this small field.

Selections(5) Mr. Fusion (4) Smart Mod (2) Cronus (3) Minyeobong
Next Best8, 6
Fast Start3, 5, 6, 8

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

(1) GREAT BOSS was a beaten favourite over 1200M last on May 22nd, hitting the front in the straight but ultimately being worn down by Doctor Fashion. That continued his impressive run of form with eight top-two finishes from nine starts so far and was enough to push him up in class here. This is his first attempt at a mile although he has run well over 1400M already and he comes down a full 6kg in the weights. That gives him a big advantage in that respect over the other standout (4) GEUMA CAVALRY who comes up a full 4kg for his super win at this class and distance on April 24th. That day the Violence colt practically made all and cruised away for a five-length victory in a fast time on a dry track. Regardless of the additional weight, He looks a talent and if he can deal with the weight, he has every chance of following up. (3) YEONGGWANGUI FIGHT beat a couple of these on his way to a solid 2nd place at class and distance on June 5th. He doesn’t win out of turn but is a prolific place getter and can be in the finish again. (5) MY TIZ GEM and (9) MALIBU BYEOL are others in at least the minor money hunt.

Selections(1) Great Boss (4) Geuma Cavalry (3) Yeonggwangui Fight (5) My Tiz Gem
Next Best9, 11
Fast Start1, 2, 3, 12

No need to click “more” that’s it!

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 27)

All fingers and toes are crossed that Sunday sees the final behind closed doors meetings before the track and other locations in Seoul can re-open next weekend. There are 10 races in Seoul (10:45 to 18:00) and 6 in Busan (12:05 to 17:00). Here are the previews:

East Jet is back on Sunday after being disqualified last start (Pic: KRA)

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

Maidens get us underway. (1) A ONE QUEEN has put in good efforts at her last two starts when on pace. At her latest she stumbled a little at the start before getting close to the lead and running on well. She drops back slightly in trip today and with a better draw looks right in this so we will take a chance on her to beat the likely favourite. That is (11) COMPLETE VALUE, who makes it to the races having won consecutive trials in May. Both times she has been steadily away before cruising away late and 1200M seems ideal first-up. (2) WONDERFUL K placed at this distance at his first start and has performed fairly in three efforts since. He was handy then passed in the run last start and the drop back in trip may suit. It may pay to disregard the latest effort of (7) FINAL ACE when she led but raced ungenerously. Two starts back she ran much better, leading to the 50M and then finishing 2nd and a repeat isn’t impossible. (8) GRAND MASTER is another in the placing frame at least.

Selections(1) A One Queen (11) Complete Value (2) Wonderful K (7) Final Ace
Next Best8, 4
Fast Start2, 4, 6, 7

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

(14) GWANGYANG EUTTEUM won a trial in April and was then a good 2nd on his racecourse debut on May 23rd at 1000M and while not assisted by the draw here, he is likely to start a justified favourite. On debut he ran handy before getting caught wide but ran on very strong and won’t need to improve too much. (10) HURRICANE SOCKS has run 3rd at both his latest two starts beating a couple of these in the process. Last time he was caught a bit wide but continued to show improvement and he can maintain his momentum here. (7) STELLA ROAD ran 4th last start behind Hurricane Socks. She was well back turning for home but made up a lot of ground in the straight. That followed a good 3rd on debut and she’s worth thought here with Kim Yong-geun remaining aboard. (6) BLACK INDY and (8) HESSIAN are others with at least placing claims.

Selections(14) Gwangyang Eutteum (10) Hurricane Socks (7) Stella Road (6) Black Indy
Next Best8, 13
Fast Start1, 6, 10, 14

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

(3) AFLEET MARINE has been close at recent starts and perhaps deserves a change of luck. She has a significantly better barrier today compared to last time when she was awkwardly away from gate twelve but proceeded to put in a huge run nonetheless getting to the lead in the straight and only being passed by a couple in the shadow of the post. She has a big chance today. She’ll need to beat the favourite who is likely to be (9) CHOEGANG JANGSAN. No worse than 4th in three outings so far, at his latest start he put in a big run over this distance and just missed out on 2nd. He can come from handy or further back and a win would appear to be in his near future. (5) SINDAERO has raced competitively recently. He raced midfield last time before running on well and a repeat should put him close at the finish. (10) CONDOR YEOWANG ran in a similar fashion at his latest start for 4th and an apprentice taking an additional 2kg off his back brings him into the calculations. (6) WONDERFUL ORANGE another with placing claims.

Selections(3) Afleet Marine (9) Choegang Jangsan (5) Sindaero (10) Condor Yeowang
Next Best6, 11
Fast Start1, 6, 10, 11

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

After back to back runner-up finishes, (4) ACE GUY looks ready to win at what will be start number five. He has been finishing off his races tremendously well and the additional half furlong could well be what he has been waiting for. (2) TRIPLE STORM has been knocking on the door in his latest couple. He tends to get very far back in his races before running on and while he may once more find one or two too quick, he should be coming strongly at the business end. Like Ace Guy, (3) K K WON benefits from a 3kg apprentice allowance. He drops back in trip having led in the straight over a mile last time only to be passed late on by a good winner and he surely goes close again. (9) GALLANT WARRIOR and (12) BLUE OAK among others in the placing frame at least.

Selections(4) Ace Guy (2) Triple Storm (3) K K Won (9) Gallant Warrior
Next Best12, 7
Fast Start1, 4, 6, 9

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

(10) BODYGUARD is a winner at this distance at his last start in a good time when he settled midfield and finished off nicely. Although he has drawn wider this time, it may actually suit his running style and he will be the one to beat here. (9) STAR RUSH has to be considered on sheer consistency having run 3rd at each of his last three starts. Last time out he settled in the back of the field and ran on strongly with a repeat of those efforts likely to put him firmly in the finish today. (11) JILPUNG BAEKGWANG comes into consideration after her much improved run last start when 3rd over 1400M. She settled much handier than usual that day and if she can do the same over 1300M this time, she can get close. (1) EUNHYE GADUEK should provide each-way value as while his paper form isn’t great, he has made improvement at each run and stumbled at the start before being bumped last time. He should get an easier passage from the inside gate and may be worth a shy at the stumps. (5) CUPID KOREA another with strong placing claims.

Selections(10) Bodyguard (9) Star Rush (11) Jilpung Baekgwang (1) Eunhye Gaduek
Next Best5, 7
Fast Start2, 5, 10, 12

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Two horses who seem to be figuring things out after both making seven starts should head the market here and there seems little to choose between them. We’ll marginally side with (3) DOCTOR TAKE, who has beaten a few of these over his latest two starts, both of them at a mile. In both of those, he has settled in midfield and has run on well for 4th and 3rd. In a race without a huge amount of speed, he may take this on early and it can be third time lucky at the distance today. The big rival is (4) LUCAS SUN who was a touch one-paced on his first try at a mile last time but nevertheless registered a decent time. His style is usually to go back and finish strongly and he is a real chance. (1) SEONGSAN HERO ran 5th behind Doctor Take last start on May 23rd. He was ridden closer earlier than he had been in previous outings and the inside gate could help him today. (7) ACE FOUR TEN and (9) BOUNTY HUNTER among others with claims.

Selections(3) Doctor Take (4) Lucas Sun (1) Seongsan Hero (7) Ace Four Ten
Next Best9, 10
Fast Start1, 3, 7, 9
(more…)

International Exchange Race Saturday -Seoul & Busan: Race-by-Race Preview (June 26)

With any luck this will be the last weekend without any spectators at Seoul Racecourse. Distancing guidelines are set to revised from the start of July that would permit attendance but for now Seoul, Gyeonggi Province, Daegu and Jeju Island remain shut meaning that the only (legal) betting in Korea this weekend will be at Busan, Changwon, Cheonan and Gwangju. On Saturday there are 8 races at Seoul (11:00 to 18:00) and 6 at Busan (11:30 to 16:50). The annual international exchange races will be run at Seoul on Saturday although obviously without any visiting delagtes in attendance and no boosted prize money. Seoul races 4 to 8 are named for (in race order), Tokyo City Keiba, Gold Circle (South Africa), China Horse Industry Association, Jockey Club of Turkey and the Selangor Turf Club (Malaysia). Here are the previews:

Roller Blade, whose three-year-old season was disrupted more than most, finally returns to action on Saturday (Pic: KRA)

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

Fillies only to kick things off. After back to back runner-up finishes, (1) DONGHAENG will be hot favourite to strike through at start number three here. On debut she ran on well from midfield over 1000M before being on pace throughout at this distance last time. She gets a much better barrier today and looks hard to beat. (2) DASI DUSON has a 2nd place finish to her name and beat a couple of these on her way to a second consecutive 4th place finish at her latest start. Her times haven’t been great but she should be competitive here. (5) ILHYANG DALMA got far too back in her last outing although she rallied well for 5th. She previously beat Dasi Duson when running 2nd at this distance and from a good draw looks a contender. (3) BANGTAN YEOGEOL has the fastest time of any of these at the distance while (6) SEMYEONG HAETSAL is the only one to have previously won a race and those facts put both into at least the placing frame here.

Selections(1) Donghaeng (2) Dasi Duson (5) Ilhyang Dalma (3) Bangtan Yeogeol
Next Best6, 12
Fast Start1, 2, 9, 11

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

After running a strong 2nd on debut, (5) B J MISS was well backed on her re-appearance on May 29th. Things didn’t go well, however, as she was awkwardly away and then wide throughout, failing to run on. She draws a little better today and is worth another chance. (9) BAEK PUNG returned from six months out to run a solid 3rd place over 1000M, settling towards the back of midfield and running on strong. He comes up in the weights here but looks ready for the step up in trip and should be a big danger. (3) FIRST WIND is the solitary previous winner among this field, having scored over this distance all the way back last November. He overcame the widest gate to run a decent 5th last time and can build on that here. (7) CHOEGANG ILSE and (10) DONGBANG CAPTAIN are both a little better than their respective latest efforts suggest and both look a placing line today.

Selections(5) B J Miss (9) Baek Pung (3) First Wind (7) Choegang Ilse
Next Best10, 13
Fast Start2, 3, 9, 12

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

(2) KOREA GIJEOK has raced eleven times and is yet to trouble the scorers but he has been consistent hovering around the minor money and in this weak company, that might be enough to see him home here. He tends to settle back and run on and the step up to 1400M might be just what he needs to finally make the breakthrough. (11) GEUMSUNG CHARMING already has experience at this distance, including his career best 2nd place finish at it in March. He too enters in consistent form and while he has drawn wide consistently, he tends to overcome it and should be a threat here. (8) CHAMILHO comes in off a couple of months out after a good 4th place at 1200M last start. While her only disappointing run so far has been at today’s distance, she looks ready for another crack here. Similarly, (7) GEOSEN JILPUNG was last on his only previous try at 1400M but has subsequently run well at shorter and may be ready to try again. (12) BIBONG MARU will try to cross from the widest gate to lead and f she gets there, could cause some problems at the business end.

Selections(2) Korea Gijeok (11) Geumsung Charming (8) Chamilho (7) Geosen Jilpung
Next Best12, 3
Fast Start3, 8, 11, 12

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

In recent starts, (5) DOCTOR CORNS has looked to get on pace from the start, something he was unable to do in his early attempts at this distance. He has since been tackling further but drops back in trip after some good results. He draws very nicely here – much better than he did before at this distance, and if he gets the lead, today should be his day. (12) CATCH THE SKY was only fairly away on debut but made up significant ground late on over the 1000M. He should have benefited from that experience and the additional furlong today may bring him into the calculations. (2) BAEK SEOL QUEEN put in two sub-par performances in February and April and got sent back to trial. She has had a couple of months off and looked very well when re-qualifying at the end of May and should improve first-up here. (1) MYEONGGA DAERO and (8) SEONGSIL SONYEO are others to consider.

Selections(5) Doctor Corns (12) Catch The Sky (2) Baek Seol Queen (1) Myeongga Daero
Next Best8, 7
Fast Start5, 9, 11, 12

Seoul Race 3: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million

No fewer than six last-start winners go around here. (4) SKY MANGCHI ran 2nd on debut, coming from off the pace before leading all the way at this distance to get his maiden win on May 5th. He comes up in class here but draws well and doesn’t have too much to fear. Also up in class is (8) EOSEOWA. He ran out a good winner over 1400M following a couple of near-misses. He likes to settle just behind the early speed and run on strong and he has good claims to be in the finish here. (7) SINUI ADEUL comes up following back to back wins at class 6 level. They were both at 1200M on muddy or worse tracks and a previous try at this distance didn’t go well but he must be taken seriously. (6) ENERGIZER led last start over 1400M but weakened in the straight to finish a very much unplaced even-money favourite. He steps back marginally in trip today to a distance that he has already won at and is set to be one of the principal dangers. Returning to the theme of last start winners up in class, (9) ACE PRINCE made all over 1200M last start and should also be in the frame here.

Selections(4) Sky Mangchi (8) Eoseowa (7) Sinui Adeul (6) Energizer
Next Best9, 11
Fast Start4, 9, 10, 11

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

Fillies (and two mares) only here. A good trial winner in April, (3) MUSIC BOX ran a good 2nd on debut on May 22nd settling in midfield and then running on strong for 2nd place over 1000M. The Indie Band filly should only benefit from the step up in trip and from a good barrier, she can make the breakthrough here. (1) DARI TTEUNI clearly benefited from four months off between January and May because when she returned, she did so in style, settling close to the pace before running on for a good win at this distance at long odds. She will be given more respect today and from the inside has solid claims to be in the finish again. (2) DANCING DRAGON was 2nd in that same race and likewise can go well again but a bigger danger may be (13) STEADY WINNER. She is yet to win in five attempts but is yet to finish any worse than 5th either. She beat a couple of these on her wat to 3rd place over 1400M at her last start and while the draw here doesn’t do her any favours, she should be going close again. She is a half-sister to listed winner Mask. (7) RAPIDO QUEEN, who has a 2nd and a 4th in two starts this preparation, is among others with placing claims.

Selections(3) Music Box (1) Dari Tteuni (13) Steady Winner (2) Dancing Dragon
Next Best7, 9
Fast Start3, 5, 9, 12

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

(1) TOUGH MAN is yet to finish any worse than 2nd with two victories to his name, both at this distance. Last time he stepped up to 1400M and ran 2nd to Balvenie, who went on to win again two weeks ago, and back down to 1200M today, he will be expected to return to the winner’s circle, most likely leading gate to wire. This isn’t a one-horse race though. (6) NAUI JEONSEOL come sin off back to back victories. They both came at two turns but while it is interesting to see him dropped significantly back in trip after those successes, he has run well at this trip too. He comes up in the weights but looks the main danger. (4) MONEY CHAMP enters as a last start class and distance winner. He too comes up in the weights but draws well and will be looking to get on pace from the start. (8) GIANT GIRL and (11) GYORYONGDEUKSU are among others will designs on the places.

Selections(1) Tough Man (6) Naui Jeonseol (4) Money Champ (8) Giant Girl
Next Best11, 3
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 11

Busan Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million

Tricky one but we’ll go with (7) RAON THE POWER to return to winning ways. He won his first two starts and has since followed up with a 2nd and two 3rd place finishes at this class and distance. He can settle just off the pace here and can be too strong late on. (3) ACE SOLOMON looks the biggest danger. A natural front-runner, he dropped back to 1000M to register his maiden victory on June 5th. He draws nice to give himself every chance again here. (6) HALLA NURI’s sole victory was almost a year ago but she has the fastest time for the distance among any of these and isn’t without chances of her own. She has been twice beaten by Raon The Power but should be in the placing mix. (2) TOP ADELE steps up in class but back in trip and is another who has drawn well to get on pace early. (5) APRIL QUEEN, a nice 3rd last time is another to consider for a place.

Selections(7) Raon The Power (3) Ace Solomon (2) Top Adele (6) Halla Nuri
Next Best5, 4
Fast Start1, 3, 6, 7

Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 35 Million

(9) RACE ROYAL has been getting a bit too far back in her races before running on very nicely indeed. She’s been behind Jangsan Gold in her latest two and fortunately for Race Royal, Jangsan Gold is not here today. She remains nicely in the weights and if she can just avoid giving her rivals too much of a head-start then today can be her day. The main danger is (8) SAENAE SUN, who has finished in 4th place in both her prior starts. The latest of those was in a fast time behind the excellent prospect Victor Moon. She has come from the middle of the pack both times and should run on strong again. (1) MONSTER K was an improved 3rd at his latest effort and looks to be finally figuring things out while (2) MEOTJIN GEUMSEONG is a Korean bred with two wins to his name and after seemingly losing his way a little after being promoted to this level, looks to be finding his feet again. He drops back to this distance for the first time in a while and should be in the finish. Also dropping back is (4) MILKY SHERRY, another locally-bred runner who while she doesn’t exactly win out of turn, generally outperforms her odds.

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Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (June 20)

Sunday’s racing is at Seoul (10 races from 10:45 to 18:00) and Busan (6 races from 12:05 to 17:00). Here are the previews:

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

(1) THUNDER K was a last start class and distance winner when he broke nicely and comfortably took the lead midway before running on for a good win. He has a nice draw again today and in a race with no much convincing form in it, he reads as the winner again. (12) DAESAN TEUKGEUP was slowly away and then heavily bumped last start so he actually did well to trail home in midfield. That was all the way back in November last year so disregard it. He trialed up pleasingly in May and can go well first-up today. Solitary debut-maker (8) YUKWAEHAN SEONTAEK looked well-educated when trialing in May, showing speed to lead from a middle barrier and running steady in the straight. He won’t need to improve too much on that to be in the finish today. (2) SARYEONI got buffeted all over the place on debut and should have learned plenty. He has a better gate today and can improve. (11) CHOIN SPARK is another with a good opportunity to improve here.

Selections(1) Thunder K (12) Daesan Teukgeup (8) Yukwaehan Seontaek (2) Saryeoni
Next Best11, 3
Fast Start1, 3, 7, 8

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Fillies only here. (5) SPEED DANCER could provide some value. She won’t be favourite, but she hasn’t been far away at the finish in her last starts including last time on a very wet track when she settled midfield and made up good ground in the straight. There’s not much exposed form here and she has as good a chance as any. Probably favourite is (1) GABO SARANGHAE. She’s offered consistency and has shown good speed at her latest starts when she has had to overcome wide draws. With the inside gate in her favour today, she surely goes close. Gabo Saranghae is one of only two fillies in the race who has finished on the board to date. The other is (11) SAENAE CHOICE, who got two runner-up finishes in the early part of her career. Her recent form has been fair and while the draw today isn’t ideal as she does her best work when on the early speed, she should be competitive. (13) CHANGI CHARM seems to be on a general trajectory of improvement. She stumbled at the start last time and got well back in the field before running on for a good 5th. Draw doesn’t help here but she can be in the finish. (10) SIMON STORM the best of the rest.

Selections(5) Speed Dancer (1) Gabo Saranghae (11) Saenae Choice (13) Changi Charm
Next Best10, 2
Fast Start1, 2, 11, 13

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

Good for a class 6 despite there being only one previous winner in the race and (2) DAESE MANSE picks herself here after a huge nine-length last start win over 1300M when she raced in a handy spot before joining the leaders, then exploded away under hands and heels. Today is a bit further but the result should be the same. (5) ISTHMUS can be considered following his last start 2nd over 1300M in a good time. He settled midfield on the fence and then made up excellent ground in the straight to narrowly miss the chocolates on the line. The extra half furlong is in his favour. (9) GOLDEN BADGE has been consistent across the last few starts, including placing over this trip in a good time. Last time out, in heavy rain, she settled midfield and ran on well to be 4th in a very close finish over 1300M and she has claims here. (11) LAST BOSS has mixed his form but has shown ability and along with (12) YUJEONG CHAMP should be aiming for a money finish.

Selections(2) Daese Manse (5) Isthmus (9) Golden Badge (11) Last Boss
Next Best12, 6
Fast Start2, 7, 9, 11

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

Fillies only to kick things off at Busan and it’s hard to look past (1) GOOD TANK. Having won her trial in fine order in April and was excellent on debut, leading all the way to win by a big margin in a good time. She draws the inside gate for her return, carries exactly the same weight as last time, and looks very hard to beat. (7) MYEONGSEONG MAGIC ran a good 2nd in a very similar all0filly affair at class and distance on May 16th. It was her best finish to date having run close to the pace throughout. She’ll be on pace again along with another strong place hope, (12) JEJUOLLE GIL. The Officer filly raced twice at the backend of last year with her best finish being a 4th place when she led for much of the way around. She trialed up at the end of May looking well and should be in the finish. The others are all going to need to significantly improve. (2) SMARTY DOLPUNG and (5) QUEEN OF HEARTS are perhaps the best contenders to do so.

Selections(1) Good Tank (12) Jejuolle Gil (7) Myeongseong Magic (5) Queen Of Hearts
Next Best2, 11
Fast Start1, 7, 12, 13

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

(5) YEOLRIN MUN was a shock winner at class and distance on May 9th. It was a narrow win but he did well, overcoming the widest gate and then threading a route through traffic to score with seemingly more in the tank. He is up in weight but draws better and should be in the finish again. We will go with that day’s runner-up (2) RAON LIGHT MAN, to overturn the form though. He was up with the pace that day but was a touch ungenerous in the run. He is very consistent, gets a good draw and while both are up in weight, meets Yeolrin Mun on better terms in that department. (6) HEUNG DREAM enters in great form having won two of his last three, both at 1200M. Sandwiched in between them was a solid 4th at today’s distance when he beat a couple of his rivals here. He drew wide that day so should get an easier run this time and can aim for at least a place. (3) CHEONJI YEOGEOL and (8) BEST TIME are others who can compete for minor money.

Selections(2) Raon Light Man (5) Yeolrin Mun (6) Heung Dream (8) Best Time
Next Best3
Fast Start2, 4, 6, 7

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

Tricky race. (4) QUEEN OF THE QUEEN is probably a worthy favourite having won at class and distance on May 16th. That was a big uptick in form and was on a wet track, but it was a fine performance in a fast time and a repeat isn’t impossible. We’ll take her on though. (9) MAJOR FORCE comes in off two good 4th place finishes over a mile. Both times he has been close to the pace only to get beaten in the closing stages. Seo Seung-un remains aboard and the drop back in trip may suit. In contrast, (11) SUSO POWER comes up in trip after some solid efforts over 1200M. She’s settled well back in her latest two only to run on strong finishing 3rd and 4th respectively and it is possible the extra furlong can work in her favour today. (1) PEACE BAEK’s latest two outings at a mile and 1400M have shown promise. From the inside gate, she can sit close to the pace and run on. (2) HONEY STAR mixes his form but the combined factors of distance and draw today mean he can go close.

Selections(9) Major Force (11) Suso Power (4) Queen Of The Queen (2) Honey Star
Next Best1, 5
Fast Start1, 3, 5, 7
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Saturday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (June 19)

We are getting closer and closer to the government’s announcement of revised distancing guidelines to take effect from July and whether that means Seoul Racecourse and capital area OTBs will be allowed to admit customers again. That announcement is expected on Sunday. For now though, the same restrictions are in place which mean that this weekend the only betting locations open are in Busan (Racecourse and two OTBs), Changwon, Gwangju and Cheonan. There are Saturday cards at Seoul (8 races from 11:00 to 18:00) and at Busan (6 races from 11:30 to 16:50). Here are the previews:

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

Last year (7) JILJU DAERO was thought of highly enough to be allowed to take his chance in a couple of bug juvenile races in which he acquitted himself fairly. He has also run some fast times in amongst good quality opposition – better than what most of these have faced. At his last start he led over 1400M before weakening in the closing stages. He has since won a trial in good order and dropping back to the minimum trip today, everything would seem to be set up for him ideally here. He’ll be a big favourite. (2) CHEONGSANGSEONG ran well on debut at this trip in February before struggling a little when stepped up to 1300M last time. Today should suit more. Similarly, (8) VICTORY SAM struggled when asked to go further second-up having previously shown ability over today’s distance. (3) TEUKGEUP YEOWANG and (12) DESK TAP are others who have placing chances.

Selections(7) Jilju Daero (2) Cheongsangseong (8) Victory Sam (12) Desk Tap
Next Best3, 5
Fast Start2, 8, 11, 12

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

(7) ENDLESS RUNNING finished 4th on debut over 1300M last November having shown on pace early before returning in January with a fair if unspectacular effort in a slow race at 1400M. He hasn’t raced since but he looked very well when winning a trial in a fast time on a dry track at the end of May and this distance first-up could very well suit him today. The main danger and possible betting favourite is (4) SORI OREUM. After settling handy he ran on strong for 2nd in a good time over this distance on debut on May 8th. He should have benefited for that experience and can go close again today. Of the others with prior racing experience, (8) TRIPLE JILJU can improve dropped back to this trip for the first time and with an apprentice jockey taking 4kg off his back. There are though a couple of debut-makers to look out for. (1) TES BROTHER led every step of the way to win an admittedly lightly-populated trial just last week. It was a decent enough time and so long as he hasn’t left his race there, should go well. (9) TWO TWO LIME looked all at sea when trialing for the first time in February but was much more accomplished on late May and is another to consider.

Selections(7) Endless Running (4) Sori Oreum (8) Triple Jilju (1) Tes Brother
Next Best9, 5
Fast Start1, 4, 5, 6

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

Fillies only here. Having won an April trial, (7) JUNGCHUBUSA brought that form to the races on debut on May 8th over 1000M, sitting behind the leader before pulling away in the final furlong to win by as many as she pleased. She won’t need to improve much off that performance in order to win again here. There are two other previous winners in the field. (12) GANGSEO PRINCESS made all to win over this distance on debut in January but came unstuck on her return in March when she had to work hard to overcome a wide draw and then ran out of petrol in the closing stages over this distance. The Gemologist filly has had almost three months off since and while the barrier isn’t ideal again, she is worth another chance. (4) SONGAM CAT also has a tick in the win column although that has been her only showing of note so far. She tends to get a long way back in her races so may need a bit of luck. (1) FANCY PANTS and (6) CUPID WONDER are perhaps preferred to compete for the places.

Selections(7) Jungchubusa (12) Gangseo Princess (6) Cupid Wonder (1) Fancy Pants
Next Best4, 3
Fast Start1, 5, 7, 12

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

It took (7) GOLD FOUNTAIN a couple of goes to figure things out but once stepped up to 1400M on May 30th he bolted up, coming from off midfield to strike the front in the straight and run on to win very easily. The additional furlong today should suit and he carries the same weight as last time. He looks hard to oppose here. Among those who have raced at a mile before, (1) CRYSTAL THINKING has the fastest time, recorded when running 2nd, beating a couple of these, on May 23rd. She draws the same barrier today and she can be a danger. So too can (2) B J’S TERMS. All four of his outings so far have come at this distance and in his latest two he has gone well, coming from well back in the field to finish off strong. Seo Seung-un remains aboard and a late challenge can be expected. (5) TEN TEN QUEEN has been getting too far back in her races but draws a decent gate today and along with (3) ANY LINE, looks best of the rest.

Selections(7) Gold Fountain (1) Crystal Thinking (2) B J’s Terms (5) Ten Ten Queen
Next Best3, 10
Fast Start3, 6, 7, 10

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

There was plenty of merit to (10) BYEOLBIT BOSEOK’s runner-up finish last time over 1300M when he took a bump coming out of the gate before leading until the last half-furlong when he was passed by a good winner for a comfortable 2nd. He draws a bit further out but comes back in trip and has solid claims. Merit aplenty too with how (1) ICE STAR won at class and distance at odds on May 8th, stalking the leaders before coming through late on the inside. His times haven’t been fast but the same apprentice who won on him remains aboard, keeping the weight down and he draws the inside gate. (2) USEUNG HWANHUI came home 4th in that same race continuing a run of solid if unspectacular form. She draws much better today and should be a danger while (6) ETERNAL MEMORY was 3rd behind Byeolbit Boseok last time out. He never looked like getting to him that day but looks set to be ridden on pace here and overturning the form is not impossible. (14) TEUKGWON is a last start winner who scored over class and distance on May 9th. He is going to use up plenty of energy getting to a handy position from the widest barrier but a good apprentice taking 2kg off may help.

Selections(10) Byeolbit Boseok (1) Ice Star (2) Useung Hwanhui (6) Eternal Memory
Next Best14, 5
Fast Start1, 5, 6, 14
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Pero Passes Triple Century

Djordje Perovic has reached three-hundred winners in South Korean racing. The milestone win came in race 2 at Busan last Saturday when the thirty-nine-year-old jockey partnered trainer Thomas Gillespie’s Sky More to a narrow photo-finish victory, becoming only the second foreigner to hit the triple-century.

“Sky More is still inexperienced and a little immature so he needed assistance throughout the race” said Perovic of the colt who was getting his maiden victory at start number four. “I expect Sky More to get better with more races.” Sky More is by Hansen and out of Korean Oaks winner Baekpa.

Perovic, known variously as “The Balkan Wolf” or “Serbian Frankie”, originally debuted in Korea in 2015 having previously ridden in Italy, where he is licensed, as well as his home country of Serbia and around Europe. He notched up Group winners in several countries as well as Jockey Premierships at the Italian tracks of San Rossore and Visarno, and even spent time on a short-term license on Japan’s elite JRA circuit, landing three winners from seventy-four rides in 2014.

During his first stint in the country, Perovic was based in Seoul where after enduring a testing start – it took thirty-five rides for him to break through and ride a winner – he quickly established himself among the top jockeys at the track. In 2017, he became the first foreign rider to win the Seoul Jockey Championship as he guided home 106 winners. They included Listed success on Clean Up Joy as well as his first Korean Group winner on Silver Wolf in the Ttukseom Cup.

After an extended time back in Europe, Perovic returned to Korea in late Spring of 2020, this time to be based at Busan but it was right in the middle of racing’s first COVID-induced shutdown. Racing did finally resume in June of that year but it was behind closed-doors and for Perovic, it was not the same as before. “My impression was like I am riding in trial races because races without audiences are not so exciting.”

Not that it seemed to affect his form as over the past year, Perovic has ridden sixty-three winners, second only in that time at Busan to You Hyun-myung with a win rate of 23.6% and finishing inside the top three on a remarkable 40.3% of his rides. Those wins included his first Korean Derby on Save The World in Seoul last August. “My favourite win is the Korean Derby, but all wins and horses are equally important and precious” he said. “Each win has its own grace. I would like to thank all the owners and trainers who believed in me and had trust in me and gave me their horses to ride.”

Japanese jockey Ikuyasu Kurakane holds the record for most wins by a foreign rider in Korea with 347 and while that figure is now within touching distance, Perovic has more fundamental ambitions. “The goal is to win many races in Korea and when I go back to my country to stay remembered by Korean people as a good person, sportsman and jockey.”

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 13)

There are races on Sunday at Seoul (10 races from 10:45 to 18:00) and at Busan (6 races from 12:05 to 17:00). Here are the previews:

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

Small field of maidens to kick things off but it’s competitive with two horses set to dispute favourite status. We’re siding with (8) SMART DAEBO who at her last start put in a good run to be a very close 2nd despite stumbling a little at the start. A repeat of that effort makes her the one to beat here. The main challenger is (2) K BLADE. The Commissioner filly is working up to a win having been placed 3rd at both most recent starts. Last time on a very wet track she settled close to the leaders and battled on in straight and it would be no surprise were she to breakthrough here. (1) ROSEDAY MARINE raced a little ungenerously last start but has placed at this distance in a nice time and should have placing claims. (6) PURGE QUEEN showed a bit of improvement last time too and can build on that run today. (3) MAIN OF KING another in the placing frame.

Selections(8) Smart Daebo (2) K Blade (1) Roseday Marine (6) Purge Queen
Next Best3
Fast Start1, 2, 3, 8

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

(9) LONDON SPEED was a close 2nd at this trip last start in a satisfactory time and with a big margin to the rest of the field. The same as today she had the outside barrier but showed great speed to get across and lead and if she can do the same, she can win. (4) SMART HIGH has had just the one race start when she was up with the pace and appeared to be in with a really good shout in the home straight. She got run down but with natural improvement from that start she enters the calculations here and could well start the betting favourite. (2) ONLY WINNER has placed 2nd at both 1400M and today’s distance of 1200M. She ran a nice 4th last start at 1300M, settling close to the pace and battling on well. She has a nice draw and the drop back in trip should enhance her chances. (3) WARRIOR THUNDER can perhaps have his last start disregarded and instead we’ll go on the close at hand 5th over 1300M when he led to the 100M before being swamped. Back at 1200M and with a good barrier, he could be in the finish.

Selections(9) London Speed (4) Smart High (2) Only Winner (3) Warrior Thunder
Next Best7, 8
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 9

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

(3) MY WIN was a huge winner at class and distance in a good time from barrier twelve on April 25th, settling handily behind the leaders and finishing off way too strong for the rest. Today he has a better draw and looks hard to go past. (10) CHOEGANG JANGSAN has run just twice but has shown ability with back-to-back 4th place finishes. Last time he settled behind the leaders and struck the front at the 300M but possibly found the 1400M a bit too much too soon. A forward showing today is a real possibility. (9) HAPPY MONTH ran on strong from a midfield position to finish 4th at this class last start and can aim to at least match that finish today. (2) BALLERINA is the wild card. She has not raced since last August when 3rd at this distance but looked sharp when trialing up a couple of weeks ago. She will obviously need this, but some minor money is not impossible. (7) AMAZING QUEEN among others in the placing frame.

Selections(3) My Win (10) Choegang Jangsan (9) Happy Month (2) Ballerina
Next Best7, 11
Fast Start1, 3, 10, 11

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

Having gone back to trial after his second career start in March, (9) WONDERFUL FAGER looked a much better prospect when resuming on May 15th, running 3rd in a fast time having raced on pace throughout. You Hyun-myung remains aboard, he has the same gate again and this looks to be his for the winning. (5) NEW FIRE beat Wonderful Fager back in March and has since run a 2nd at 1300M. In his latest two, both at further than today, he has come off the pace but showed when 4th on debut over 1000M that he can be handy too and he looks the main danger. (4) ANNIKA GIRL practically stopped running at the 300M when sent off as favourite for what was her second start three weeks ago. She had previously run on well over 1000M and the drop back in trip slightly may bring her into the calculations today. (1) HAVE A GOOD TIME was a useful 2nd at his latest start and while the time wasn’t fast, can build on that here. (7) MAGIC HILL the best of the rest.

Selections(9) Wonderful Fager (5) New Fire (4) Annika Girl (1) Have A Good Time
Next Best7, 10
Fast Start1, 4, 7, 8

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

(5) RAON THE TIGER is showing improvement with experience and appears to be ready to go forward now. Last start he was a bit awkwardly away then settled behind the leader and battled on in the straight for 2nd. While it wasn’t a fast race, a repeat of that run puts him right in this. (2) FLYING INDY is worth consideration after his last start 2nd at this distance when he was bumped a few times after the start and then making really good ground late on. With a bit more luck he can settle closer today and be in the frame. (3) BEST STORM was a touch disappointing when capitulating late on last start. Back to 1300M may suit better and he’s worth another chance here. (7) POLKA has been much improved at recent starts. Last time at 1200M she was handily placed before running on in the straight while the time before that over 1400M, she ran on resolutely for 4th and could easily run into a place here. (9) SPEED FLYING the best of the rest.

Selections(5) Raon The Tiger (2) Flying Indy (3) Best Storm (7) Polka
Next Best9, 1
Fast Start5, 7, 9, 13

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

Fillies only here. (6) TAMNA HWANGHU surprised almost everybody with a practically gate to wire easy win over class and distance on May 23rd. That was her maiden win at start fourteen but with most of her rivals here coming out of the same race, along with a decent draw and an apprentice jockey taking 3kg off her back, lightning could actually strike twice. (10) BURNING GUN and (8) WHITE GALLOPER came home in 4th and 5th place respectively in that race. It was just a second start for Burning Gun and an improved showing while White Galloper was slowly away and failed to make ground the way she did when winning at this distance two starts back. Expect both to be in the hunt today. Finishing in 6th place that day was (9) SECOND WIND, who started favourite following a strong 3rd at the distance two starts back. She too warrants another chance here. If you don’t like that race, then the one to go for is (7) HORAENGI. Yet to win in six starts she has run some consistent times and could well be on the early speed here.

Selections(6) Tamna Hwanghu (8) White Galloper (7) Horaengi (9) Second Wind
Next Best10, 3
Fast Start5, 7, 9, 10

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million

Fillies and mares only here. (9) K N MENIQUEEN came up to this class last start and put in a nice effort over 1400M when she ran on wide in the straight. Back to 1300M and back in fillies and mares company today, she is the one to beat. (11) CUPID POINT ran 5th on her first try at this class on April 25th having previously racked up class 6 wins over 1200M and 1400M. She goes best when on or close to the pace so while she may need a bit of luck from a wide gate, she should be competitive here. Also needing luck from even wider will be (14) FORT SEUONE. She ran on well though to hit 3rd over 1200M last time and the slight step up in trip may be to her benefit. Beating her that day at 1200M was (3) DAEGUN OK. That was a return to form after a couple of average efforts and she flew home from off the pace. She has won at this distance in the past and must be considered here. (13) SANTTEUTHANSEUCHIM is always competitive at this level and despite being another who had no luck on draw day, should be there or thereabouts again.

Selections(9) K N Meniqueen (14) Fort Seunone (11) Cupid Point (3) Daegun Ok
Next Best13, 1
Fast Start1, 11, 12, 14
(more…)

Seoul & Busan Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 12)

The current social distancing guidelines throughout Korea have been extended to the end of the month. That means that the Seoul Capital area including Gyeonggi Province and Incheon, the city of Daegu and Jeju Island will remain at level 3 and unable to accept customers. Busan (Racecourse and OTBs), Changwon, Gwangju and Cheonan can accept pre-booked customers (through the MyCard app). So long as new infections remain below 1,000 per day (currently the average is between 400 and 750) and the target of 14 Million first-dose vaccinations is reached by the end of June, then July is set to see a restructuring of the guidelines which should allow at least some customers to enter Seoul Racecourse. At this point, thoroughbred racing is expected to revert to its former three-days-a-week schedule. We cross our fingers. For now though, there is racing on Saturday at Seoul (8 races from 11:00 to 18:00) and at Busan (6 races from 11:30 to 16:50). Here are the previews:

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

Small field of fillies get us underway. The favourite will probably be (8) NEW HOPE based on the consistent start she has made to her career with two 3rd place finishes and a 4th among her latest three. She drops back to five-furlongs for the first time today and while she hasn’t been the quickest of starters, it could be what she needs to make the breakthrough. We’re going to side though with (3) SOEWAKKOT. Having posted a fast trial, she ran 6th on debut at this distance from a wide draw. She gets a better barrier today and should have benefited from the experience. Expect her to lead and she can win. (9) NAMSAN CHOCOLATE comes in off an improved showing at this trip last time when from a wide gate she showed prominently before ending up in 6th it was a good time on a dry track and a similar showing puts her in the finish today. (7) QUEEN LION has the fastest time of any of these at the distance and while that was all the way back on debut, she’s not had another chance at this distance since. Solitary debut-maker (1) FIRST ROAD went well in a May trial and is worth keeping an eye on.

Selections(3) Soewakkot (8) New Hope (9) Namsan Chocolate (1) First Road
Next Best7
Fast Start1, 2, 3, 8

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

(10) GLORY SONG ran 2nd on debut, well behind a very good winner but showed enough in an on-pace run to suggest there is more to come. She doesn’t draw especially well here but can overcome that and with Perovic climbing aboard, she can make her breakthrough today. (The other standout is (2) ECOPIA. She came from off the pace to run 3rd on her own debut, also at this distance on May 8th. She posted a fast time and beat three of these in the process and from a better gate will surely be mixing it in the finish again. Draw a line through the latest outing of (8) AMAZING FOOT when he was only fairly away and never featured. If he can get a good start and get on or close to the pace, then he has at least a placing chance. (3) LUCKY RUN and (5) MACH ROAD are others worth considering.

Selections(10) Glory Song (2) Ecopia (8) Amazing Foot (5) Mach Road
Next Best4, 11
Fast Start1, 6, 10, 12

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

The second division of the filly maiden and this time we’ll have a clear favourite and top pick. (4) LONDON POWER was a good trial winner over the winter before debuting at the end of February, running a solid 3rd over this trip. She’s drawn very nicely here and while it has been over three months since that run, she should have too much for this set of opponents. (2) GEUMGUKHWA has the second fastest time at this distance and also has the fastest first furlong average of any on the field. Her recent form reads very cold but it has all been at 1200M so she may appreciate the step back to the short-course today. (3) MISS CAMP and (7) JUMALUI SIJAK have hinted at ability across their respective prior starts and both should be looking to improve here. There are two debut-makers and of the pair (6) JEONGSEONG DAERO is perhaps the more likely to make an immediate impact.

Selections(4) London Power (2) Geumgukhwa (7) Jumalui Sijak (3) Miss Camp
Next Best6
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 9

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(14) CHEONGMA HWANGHU overcame a similarly wide draw at her latest start to get on pace and ultimately run 3rd behind a couple of useful types. She’s going to need to repeat that trick today but this looks a slightly easier race and if Seo Seung-un can find a handy position., she should be too good. (10) FANTASTIC LEADER comes in off two solid 3rd place finishes, both of them over 1200M. The draw is less of an issue for him as he likes to run on and he should be in the finish again today. (5) DOCTOR TEXAS is likely to be on pace. He ran well enough for 5th place over 1200M on his debut on May 1st and this is a nice race to follow up in. The rest will need to come past him at some stage. (13) SKY MORE hasn’t done too much wrong in three starts to date with his best being a 2nd place on debut. He has been slightly one-paced but with a sensible ride that should be enough to see him in the mix today. (6) A ONE PLUS perhaps the best of the rest.

Selections(14) Cheongma Hwanghu (10) Fantastic Leader (5) Doctor Texas (13) Sky More
Next Best6, 3
Fast Start2, 5, 12, 14

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

(4) LUMINOUS QUEEN ran on strong for 2nd in a fast time on debut over 1000M in April. She should have come on for that run and stepping up in trip today with a good draw once more, has every chance of breaking through. (2) GREAT THUNDER led for much of his debut at this distance on May 8th. He ultimately got passed by a couple but stuck to his task well for 3rd. He should have come on for the run and will be expected to lead again. (6) ILGYEOK PILSAL has the fastest time of any of these at the distance recorded when coming from off the pace to run 2nd at his latest start. He drew wide that day but has run well when leading too so from a better gate today, expect him to be on pace and in with a serious chance. (10) M J STORM goes best when he gets a good start and gets on pace so expect Lim Gi-won to try to get across from gate ten. If he does, then he should be in the finish. (14) SMARTY TREM looks the best of the rest and is another in the placing frame.

Selections(4) Luminous Queen (2) Great Thunder (6) Ilgyeok Pilsal (10) M J Storm
Next Best14, 7
Fast Start2, 4, 10, 13

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

Tricky race this. We’re going to give (8) CHEONGDAM DRIVE another chance. He didn’t run on when a beaten favourite over a mile last start on May 9th. He is yet to win but has some decent performances in his record, including at this distance. If he can get on or close to the early speed then back at 1400M, he has every chance. (4) YEONGDO GALMAEGI has every chance too. He has the fastest time of these at the distance, albeit recorded on a muddy track, and he ran well last start when finishing strongly from a midfield positon for 2nd. He’ll sit handy again here and can run on strong to challenge for the win this time. (6) SWEET BAND has been figuring things out across her latest few starts. She ran a good 2nd at this distance last time after coming from off the pace. She has had a tendency to get a bit too far back in her races and if she doesn’t leave herself too much to do, she can challenge with a couple of kilos in hand on the other fancies. (2) DOCTOR CORNS weakened badly after using up a lot of energy to get to the front from a wide draw at a mile last time. With today’s gate, he is worth another chance. (9) AFLEET TAPIT another in the hunt.

Selections(8) Cheongdam Drive (4) Yeongdo Galmaegi (6) Sweet Band (2) Doctor Corns
Next Best9, 10
Fast Start2, 4, 5, 7
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Blue Chipper Sunday Busan & Seoul: Race-By-Race Preview (June 6)

Blue Chipper will have the chance to avenge his loss at the hands of Doctor Carson as the two of them face off again in the feature race at Busan on Sunday afternoon. There are 6 races at Busan from 12:05 to 17:00 and 10 at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00. The Seoul meeting will be held behind closed doors while there will be limited in person attendance at Busan. Unfortunately, the Daegu City Government has ordered the off-track betting location in that city to be closed as the Coivd alert level in that region has been raised to join Seoul, Gyeonggi and Jeju at “level 2”. Off-track centres in Busan Gwangju, Changwon and Cheonan remain open for limited in-person attendance which must be pre-booked. Here are the previews:

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

This is a race with little exposed form, so we’ll go out on a limb with (4) RUN TO GOAL. She ran well enough over the 1200M last time after stumbling out of the barriers and then copping a bump off the horse on her outside. After meeting interference in the straight she still ran well. She’s well drawn again and with more luck should be in the finish. The favourite will be (9) M J QUEEN on the grounds that she has won a race. That was on debut and while she hasn’t looked like following up in three starts since, she was prominent last time being passed just before the finish. The drop back to 1000M may suit. (10) ECTON JILJU showed improvement at start number two and is another who may appreciate the opportunity to race at five furlongs. (2) SAENAE HWANGJE and (8) TAEYANGTAGO are others whose form is not perhaps as bad as it first looks.

Selections(4) Run To Goal (9) M J Queen (10) Ecton Jilju (8) Tayangtago
Next Best2, 5
Fast Start2, 4, 9, 10

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(1) GEOLJAK WOMAN can be considered here having been placed over 1200M and getting a good barrier. Draw a line through her last start when she was inconvenienced at the start before working home very nicely. A clean getaway today puts her right in the finish. Likely betting favourite is (6) BEST CHEONSANG. She’s been consistent across her four starts so far and with the best first furlong average time of any of these, should relish the chance to compete over five furlongs for the first time. (10) JILJU BORN has raced at this distance already and did rather well at it, finishing 4th on debut back in January. Las time out he raced green and wide before eventually finding his feet on the fence and that experience may have done him some good. He has a chance. (9) JEONGMUN JIJON was 4th last start behind a runaway winner. That was an improvement on his previous two efforts, and he won’t need to be too much better to go close here. (3) GLOBAL STORM the best of the rest.

Selections(1) Geoljak Woman (6) Best Cheonsang (10) Jilju Born (9) Jeongmun Jijon
Next Best3, 5
Fast Start3, 6, 10, 12

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

(3) CHEONGDAM TANK comes in with solid form and at het last start was a narrow 2nd over today’s distance on a wet track. She settled in a handy spot and made up good ground that day and from a better barrier here looks the one to beat. (4) SILVER DRAGON has hit form recently and was doing his best work late on last time out over 1200M. That suggests he is ready for another crack at the slightly further trip today and he should go close. Like Cheongdam Tank, (10) LAST BOSS also enters having run 2nd at this distance on his latest start. He came from an outside barrier to settle close to the pace that day, running on strongly and a repeat puts him in the finish again. (8) YEONGUNG DAEMA showed improvement last time despite being away awkwardly and then running wide. A more mature run here makes him a solid each-way hope. (11) WONDERFUL TYCOON did nothing too wrong when 4th on debut last start and is another who can make progress here.

Selections(3) Cheongdam Tank (4) Silver Dragon (10) Last Boss (8) Yeongung Daema
Next Best11, 12
Fast Start3, 5, 10, 12

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

Fillies only here. (1) PUREUN JANGMI is going to be favourite here. She’s a Kim Young-kwan trainee who having won her trial ran 3rd when favourite on debut. Improvement will be expected on that, and it would be no surprise were she to make her breakthrough here. We’re going to take her on though. (12) SEUNGNI MAGICQUEEN went one better on her debut, finishing in 2nd place to a good winner and recording the fastest time any of these have managed so far at the distance. The draw is not ideal, but it wasn’t the first time around either and with a bit of improvement she has every chance. Both (2) BYEOLI TTEUNE and (11) SAEMANGUIVISION both showed improvement at their respective latest starts each registering a career best 2nd place. They look the next best contenders for the money with Saemanguivision the slightly preferred of the pair. There are two debut-makers and (14) ALIVE QUEEN looked competent enough in two trials and can go well first up despite the wide draw.

Selections(12) Seungni Magicqueen (1) Pureun Jangmi (11) Saemanguivision (14) Alive Queen
Next Best11, 6
Fast Start1, 9, 10, 12

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 28 Million

(2) CHEONMA TODAY is a winner of three from seven and was a super all the way victor over this distance last start. Ostensible she is up in class here but in normal times would have been a number of races back. Add in the nice barrier and she can win again. Favourite will probably be (4) CATCH CHARM. She won her first two and then last start when up in class led while pulling hard before battling on for 5th. That was her first outing in more than four months so she may well have got the bad manners out of her system, and she can improve here. If she does, she has a winning chance. (6) OLD SPECIAL comes up in class after an all the way score at this distance last time. He may not get things his way quite so easily this time what with there being plenty of other early speed too, but he should still be competitive. (3) RUBICON got her maiden win at start six last time, and she too steps up in grade today. She seems to run well whenever she draws a good barrier and doesn’t need to cross, so she can also be in the finish. (9) SHOWMAKER another in the placing frame.

Selections(2) Cheonma Today (4) Catch Charm (6) Old Special (3) Rubicon
Next Best9, 12
Fast Start2, 4, 9, 11

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(4) WILD INDIE is set to be hot favourite here. He came from well back to run 2nd on debut over 1300M before stepping up to a mile and repeating the trick, running 2nd to a good winner. He’s a half-brother to Beolmaui Kkum and Kkakjaengi, Korean Stakes winners both, and he surely breaks through today. (5) B J’S TERMS was one of those rare horses in Korea who began their career at a mile and all of his three starts so far have come at the distance. He is another who seems to like to come from well back and he did exactly that to beat a few of these when 3rd last time out. He can continue his progress today. (2) DIA FORCE ran 4th behind B J’s Terms on his first try at a mile four weeks ago and can aim to match or better that today while (6) KING BROTHER, 5th in the same race, and (9) MINYEO GEOMGAEK are others in the placing hunt.

Selections(4) Wild Indie (5) B J’s Terms (2) Dia Force (6) King Brother
Next Best9, 7
Fast Start3, 6, 7, 8

Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 35 Million

(5) OXFORD KING picks himself really based on two consecutive wins in good times, beating several of these in the process in the most recent one. He made all both times and while he does carry more weight today, is drawn nicely to repeat. (8) DIA KEY ran 3rd to Oxford King on May 1st and meets him on 2.5kg better terms today which can bring him closer. He likes to settle midfield and run on and similar will be expected today. (6) RAON DIA has been 3rd in both starts at this class. Whether drawn inside or out wide, she sits handy and finishes strong and she should be firmly in contention for at least a place today. (3) DALRINEUN BITKKAL comes up in class and back in distance following a good win over 1400M a month ago. Both of his wins have come when he has led or been in a handy position and he can comfortably sit behind what should be a good pace here and try to take advantage in the closing stages. (9) MONEY CHAMP the best of the rest.

Selections(5) Oxford King (8) Dia Key (6) Raon Dia (3) Dalrineun Bitkkal
Next Best9, 2
Fast Start5, 6, 7, 9

Busan Race 3: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 35 Million

(9) BEASTLY scored back-to-back class 6 wins in December and April both times leading almost the whole way around. He stepped up to this class three-weeks ago and though sent off favourite couldn’t quite get to where he needed to be from a wide draw ultimately finishing 4th. The step up in trip should be fine and he can return to winning ways today. (10) FLAT BABE has raced three times and has three runner-up finishes to her name. She too is up in class but has already registered the fastest time among any of these who have previously tackled the distance and another 2nd place should be the minimum aim. Continuing the theme of those up in class is (1) CHOEGANG LIGER. He has run consistently solid times and can be competitive at this level. (5) INDIAN PARTY and (8) WONDERFUL KING are others in placing contention.

Selections(9) Beastly (10) Flat Babe (1) Choegang Liger (8) Wonderful King
Next Best5, 6
Fast Start4, 8, 9, 10

Seoul Race 6: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 35 Million

Fillies and mares only here and (1) LOVELY K will be a warm favourite. Two starts back she registered a good win in a fast time over the 1200M before running 4th over 1400M when she got within a length of the winner despite being inconvenienced in the home straight. She can settle handy here and is the one to beat. (9) CHALLENGE SOCKS is a last start winner at this distance at class 5 level. She doesn’t tend to show a lot of early speed, but she ran on well under a confident ride for a win that was easier than the margin suggests. Down in weights, she should be right in this. Disregard the last start of (2) MJ POINT is perhaps worth some thought. In her races she has settled midfield and run on well and both the draw and step up in trip may benefit today. It’s been more than a year since she last ran, and she’ll definitely need this but (3) TIZ ROSE has plenty of ability and trialed up adequately. She could make for an interesting outsider. (11) LIONETTE is still relatively unexposed and was a solid 4th at start number two a month ago and is another with placing hopes.

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