Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (April 6)

It’s the first weekend of the Triple Crown! Nine will line up in the KRA Cup Mile at Busan on Sunday but before that we have a 10-race Friday card from 11:30 to 18:00. Japanese jockey Yuri Takahashi, who rode at Seoul in 2015 and 2016, makes his Korean return.


It’s Friday! It’s Busan!

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

Three-year-olds only and just three of them have raced before. Of them, (4) MIRACLE ALICE ran well enough for 6th of 12 after a slow start on debut two weeks ago while (8) ROYAL CLUB achieved the same finish position on her first-time a month ago. Both should be in the frame for improvement today. It’s one of the debut-makers that will be favourite though (5) YES POWER looked sharp when winning a trial only last week and if he brings that form to the track could take some beating. (11) HWANSANG DOKJU too showed some speed when trialling up and trainer/jockey combination will make for plenty of backers. (2) NAEGA DAESE too looks to have some potential first-up.

Selections (5) Yes Power (4) Miracle Alice (11) Hwansang Dokju (8) Royal Club
Next Best 2, 3
Fast Start 5, 7, 10, 11

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

More maidens here although all of them have raced at least once. (4) S S YOUNG has been odds-on favourite for both her starts so far and has come up short both times, finishing 2nd and 3rd. She’ll be well-backed again, but this time may not be favourite and may once again have to settle for a place. That’s because (1) FELAROF looks the one to beat. An improved 2nd on what was his second start in February, he returns from six weeks off, should be on pace early and can go all the way. (3) B.K. UNO raced greenly on debut a month ago but still managed 4th and if she has learned a bit from that can improve today. (11) MAJOR THUNDER and (12) STAR WOMAN also look to be getting better and can compete here.

Selections (1) Felarof (4) S S Young (3) B.K. Uno (12) Star Woman
Next Best 11, 2
Fast Start 1, 4, 8, 11

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Tricky one this but (1) PARK MINISTER stepped up to this distance for the first time all the way back in February and ran a good 2nd, beating a couple of these in the process. She’s not raced since so comes in fresh, Jo In Kwen stays aboard and she has as much chance as any here. It took (7) HOPEFUL SIMON a long time to get to the track but the manner in which he debuted last month gives some reasons to be hopeful. The four-year-old ran on well for 2nd over 1200M and could go close here. (3) PEACE RIDER overcame a poor start to run 3rd last start and the extra half furlong ay benefit. (5) BREAKING NEWS and (11) PERFECT BOSS, the latter racing at further than the minimum distance for the first time, are others who may come into play.

Selections (1) Park Minister (7) Hopeful Simon (3) Peace Rider (11) Perfect Boss
Next Best 5, 8
Fast Start 5, 7

Race 4: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(1) SEOLGWANGHWA just went down by a nose in a much-improved performance over 1300M on March 9th. Like the majority of these, he is up to a mile for the first time today and it could be exactly what he needs to get his maiden win. (5) BELLAMY GONGJU has also been getting closer lately and while she was a distance 2nd to a good winner two (more…)


Korean Triple Crown 2018: All The Cup Miles So Far

The Korean Triple Crown season is upon us with the first jewel, the KRA Cup Mile, set to be run at Busan this coming Sunday, April 8th. We’ll have a full preview of the big race in the forthcming days but in the meantime let’s take a look back at all previous runnings of the Cup Mile.

Indian King

Indian King won the KRA Cup Mile in 2017 (Pic: KRA)


The track configuration at Seoul Racecourse has never allowed for races to be run at a distance of a mile – although this is set to change within the next year – so, when the Busan Racecourse was designed, that was to be a key feature. The track was completed in 2004 and the first Cup Mile, held on a Friday in September 2005, was won by US import Siseon Jeap (Precise End).

The following year the race got a name change, the KRA Chairman’s Cup and a distance change to 1800M. Golding (Gold Alert), who would continue to be a stalwart at Busan until 2011, took the honours. In 2007, it was back to being the Cup Mile and Luna (Concept Win) landed the biggest win of her career. Australian jockey Garry Baker became the first of three foreign riders to date to have won the race.

In that same year, J.S. Hold won all three races of the Seoul Triple Crown but for 2008 Busan horses were invited to take part for the first time and the track invited to host the first leg. As a result, the Cup Mile was shifted to the first Sunday in April. Here is a list of the winners every year since then and what’s become of them:

2008: Rainmaker [Revere – Wandering Katie (Tejano)] – The 3/1 favourite won the race by two and a half lengths but then finished last in the Derby and would never win a race again. He suffered some injury setbacks and was finally retired in 2010. He was registered for breeding and covered the occasional mare but was ultimately retrained for Equestrianism.

2009: Sangseung Ilro [Concept Win – Ms. Whiskey (Whiskey Wisdom)] – The first of two superstar winners, she was a 16/1 outsider (the first and possibly only correct tip ever given on this blog’s twitter feed!) and despite behind the scenes shenanigans with Eiki Nishimura getting jocked off in favour of Jo Sung Gon, she went on to win the Korean Derby. Long odds-on favourite for the Korea Oaks. she was caught on the line by Pang Pang and then, at 80% fitness, ran 3rd in the Minister’s Cup when trying to seal the Triple Crown. Until Power Blade, she was the only Cup Mile winner so far to go on to win the Derby. Sangseung Ilro won two more Stakes races as a 4-year-old before being retired for broodmare duties. One of the best fillies ever produced in Korea.

2010: Money Car [Newsprint – Pinocchio (Big Sur)] – The first of just two winners from Seoul, he came into the Cup Mile with 5 wins from 6 starts and was a dominant 11-length winner. Odds-on favourite for the Derby, he looked home and hosed a furlong out but was run down on the line by Cheonnyeon Daero. He only ran once more, his career ended by injury. Out at pasture for a few years, he was registered for breeding in 2013 and occasionally covers mares at Hyunma Farm on Jeju Island.

2011: Soseuldaemun [Meisei Opera – This Ole Way (Vigors)] – This was a 3-year-old crop that, filly Useung Touch and solid handicapper Singgereounachim aside, didn’t really live up to its early promise. Toshio Uchida, “Mr. Pink” rode 7/1 chance Soseuldaemun to a 2-length win but the colt didn’t travel well to Seoul for the Derby and, 20 kilos lighter, finished 7th. He only raced twice more, with a very solid 3rd in the Gyeongnam Do-Min Ilbo followed by a return to Seoul for the Minister’s Cup where he was last of 14. Not registered for breeding, he was retired to Myeongsin Farm on Jeju.

2012: Gyeongbudaero [Menifee – Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] – One of the finest Korean-bred racehorses who is only now peaking. He was Busan’s champion Juvenile in 2011 and was the 3-length winner of the Cup Mile. A month later, he finished 3rd in the Derby, just a length behind Jigeum I Sungan and was 3rd behind the same horse in the Minster’s Cup. The same year, he was also 3rd in the President’s Cup. 13 of his 29 starts have come in Stakes races and it was in 2014 where he rose to the very top of Korean racing. Having won the President’s Cup at Seoul in November, he returned to win the biggest race of all, the Grand Prix Stakes, that December.

2013: Sting Ray [Forest Camp – Straight Cash (Straight Man)] – A victory at the time for the Korean breeding program with dam Straight Cash being a winner of the JRA Trophy in Korea. Sting Ray was the odds-on favourite for the Cup Mile and duly won by 4-lengths. He finished 6th in the Derby a month later and went on to be a solid class 1 handicapper befire his eventual retirement in April 2017.

2014: Cheongnyong Bisang [Volponi – Miss Alwuhush (Alwuhush)] – The 20/1 chance filly became Seoul’s second winner of the KRA Cup Mile when taking a 2-length victory last year. Another filly, Queen’s Blade, had been sent off as the odds-on favourite and she would come good a month later in the Korean Derby in Seoul with Cheongnyong Bisang back in 4th. Blighted by injury, he was inexplicably sent to the United States, where his story took a quite unexpected turn.

2015: Rafale [Colors Flying – Dongbang Choego (Al Naba)] – 2nd behind Doraon Hyeonpyo in the previous year’s Breeders’ Cup, Rafale begin his three-year-old campaign with a win but only managed 4th place in his final prep for the Cup Mile. Nevertheless, it was enough for him to be sent off as co-favourite with Doraon Hyeonpyo for the big race. Under You Hyun Myung, he struck the front late on and beat Doraon Hyenpyo by half a length. That would be as good as it got for Rafale as he finished 3rd in the Derby and then 5th in the Minister’s Cup before tendinitis brough a premature end to his career after just ten starts and five wins. He remains alive at Sinhwa Farm on Jeju Island.

2016: Power Blade [Menifee – Cheonmacheong (Lost Mountain)] – Champion juvenile the previous year, Power Blade was odds-on favourite for the Cup Mile, obliging by four-lengths and swept to all three legs of the Triple Crown with supreme ease. He went on to represent Korea at the Dubai World Cup Carnival in 2017, placing at Group level before returning to Seoul to run 2nd in the Korea Sprint and then to win the Grand Prix Stakes.

2017: Indian King [Biwa Shinseiki – Indian Diamond (Indian Charlie)] – British jockey Darryll Holland became the fourth foreign jockey to win the Cup Mile, guiding 75/1 outsider Indian King to a narrow win having taken the initiative early in the race. He ran solid 4ths in both the final two legs of the Triple Crown but suffered an injury setback shortly afterwards. He has recently returned to training.

Final declarations for this year’s race will be made on Wednesday. A full preview of the big race will follow.

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (April 1)

Sunday sees 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 races at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05. Here are the previews (Busan selections at bottom):


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

(3) RAON SIRIUS looked to be making all over 1200M on February 25th, only to be comfortably overhauled by a good favourite and ending up in 2nd. Johan Victoire rode the winner that day and this time he can guide Raon Sirius to the front once more and potentially all the way. (6) GONG SAN was a promising enough 6th of 11 over this distance on debut a month ago and can come on for that here. Antonio Da Silva had a good March and he can get April off to a positive start on (2) KHENDUM POWER, who drops back in trip following a couple of decent efforts around 1700M while (9) BIG AURORA, who tries this trip for the first time, and (12) MIDAS CHIEF, who is one start into a comeback following nine months out, are others to consider.

Selections (3) Raon Sirius (6) Gong San (2) Khendum Power (12) Midas Chief
Next Best 10, 9
Fast Start 3, 7, 7

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

After exceeding expectations with 3rd place on debut, (4) HANYANG GONGJU came up short when favourite on reappearance at 1300M on March 3rd. However, her 2nd place that day warrants another chance and she really should be getting it right this time. She’ll be strong favourite ahead of (5) O.K. DAY and (6) GARA GARA GA, both of whom have shown promise across two start each so far with the latter slightly favoured at this point. (3) LEADER’S CAMP didn’t disgrace herself when finishing 6th of 12 on debut at the end of February and may benefit from an additional furlong today while (11) GOLD STREET was an improved 4th when tried at further than the minimum for the first time on March 4th and can match or better that here.

Selections (4) Hanyang Gongju (3) Leader’s Camp (6) Gara Gara Ga (5) O.K. Day
Next Best 11, 7
Fast Start 3, 5, 7

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

(6) HAMBAK MISO was sent off as the odds-on favourite on debut on March 3rd and duly obliged, winning comfortably over 1000M. He is up in class and distance today and should be competitive. He won’t be favourite, however, because (5) DOKDO JIGI returns for the first time since Christmas Eve. Dokdo Jigi was a fast winner on debut over 1000M before running 2nd to the very good Gaon Champ on reappearance in November. He was 5th of 8 in a very strong juvenile race on Christmas Eve before being diagnosed with a fetlock joint disease. Back now, if he is anything like he was before, he should win. (3) ROYAL BOKSUNI enters having run 3rd and 4th in her latest two and can be close again. (4) MONEY ZIF is up in class following a good win over 1300M a month ago and should figure at some point while (9) STRONG MAN has also shown ability at this class and should get close.

Selections (5) Dokdo Jigi (6) Hambak Miso (9) Strong Man (3) Royal Boksuni
Next Best 4, 2, 1
Fast Start 3, 5

Race 4: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(2) THE QUEEN GRACE was a touch disappointing running 6th of 12 when second-favourite over the distance on February 25th. That wasn’t a bad race though and she already has a 2d place to her name at class and distance and can go one better here. Speaking of 2nd place finishes, that’s fast becoming (3) CHEONJI BOBAE’s specialty, (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (March 31)

There are 11 races at Seoul on Saturday from 10:45 to 18:00:

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

Maiden race in which four of the twelve are racing for the very first time and among them, there are a couple with the potential to win first-up. Both (2) MAGIC ROAD and (12) MYEONGJIN MAN looked very competent in trials. Magic Road is out of a dam who won seven of her fourteen races in Korea while Myeongjin Man is a Drosselmeyer colt who was imported in-utero. We are, however, going to come down on the side of racecourse experience and (11) HIN BYEOL ran on very nicely for 3rd on debut at the end of February and can come out on top today. The debut-makers look to be the main danger while (3) BROWN ROSE debuted in a stiffer contest than this and should improve for it. (9) SURFING POINT was bad on debut three weeks ago but trialled up well before that and can improve today.

Selections (11) Hin Byeol (12) Myeongjin Man (2) Magic Road (9) Surfing Point
Next Best 3, 4
Fast Start 1, 3, 4, 8

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

Hansen filly (11) GEOSEN MAPUNG got promoted to this level without a win but acquitted herself very nicely when finishing 3rd on February 25th at this distance with (5) GUREUM SONJITHAE some way back in 7th. She overcame gate 12 that day and can do similar again today. (4) CREMOA POWER is up in class following victory over 1300M all the way back in January. He’s had twelve weeks off since then and drops back to in trip but should be a threat. (7) DALDARI enters following 2nd and 3rd places in her two starts so far this year and may be considered while (12) HANIL MAGIC steps back in trip following two reasonably encouraging efforts at 1300M and can be in the placing frame.

Selections (11) Geosen Mapung (7) Daldari (4) Cremoa Power (12) Hanil Magic
Next Best 5, 3
Fast Start 1, 5, 6, 11

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Last weekend was a good one for David Breux and the French jockey can keep his winning form going here by riding (3) FLYING JOY to victory. The colt has been 3rd in each of his latest two and should be on the early speed here. (9) HADALRAE was an encouraging 4th on debut on March 3rd, making up a lot of ground in the closing stages. That was at 1000M and the step up in trip today should suit. (5) MORAN DONGBEAK has (more…)

Good Friday Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (March 30)

There are 10 Friday races at Busan from 11:30 to 18:00. Here is the full horse-by-horse and race-by-race guide:

Power Blade Owners

Jockey Franco Da Silva could be among the winners at Busan on Friday (Pic: KRA)

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

1. GOLDUI INYEON – First-time starter. Trialed adequately and top jockey booking.
2. MUCHO – Won a trial at the end of December but offered little in two starts so far. Should be on pace early.
3. TANGO AND TANGO – Didn’t do much on debut but comes in off 2nd and 3rd in latest two and can match those today.
4. HARVEST GOLD – Last of 12 on debut three weeks ago. Not yet.
5. BUGYEONG STORY – Debut-maker. Trialed ok but won’t be favoured first-up.
6. HANGIL – Much improved 2nd on fourth start a month ago, just beaten half a length in all-filly contest and a leading contender here. Top Jockey.
7. BAENGNYEON DAERO – Solid 3rd on debut at this distance in January but struggled at 1300M last time. Should be better dropped back in trip today.
8. CHEONJI GOLD – Slow in both starts so far and hard to argue for here.
9. FASHION WANG – Showed a bit of improvement last time but still a way to go. Likely to be on early speed.
10. THE FACT – First-timer. Didn’t catch the eye when trialing.
11. ROYAL RIVER – Showed some glimpses of ability across six starts so far with a best of 2nd. Hasn’t raced since 5th behind Baengnyeon Daero in January. Don’t ignore.
12. HIGH VALLEY – Offered few clues on debut twelve weeks ago. Watching brief here.


Race 1 TANGO AND TANGO 20180309 R1 jumped awkwardly, shifted outwards and bumped

Verdict: Reasonably competitive maiden to open with. We’ll come down slightly on the side of (6) HANGIL, who showed significant improvement when 2nd last start and with a little more today can win. (3) TANGO AND TANGO overcame a poor start last time to run on well for 3rd and should be in the frame again while (7) BAENGNYEON DAERO showed some ability at this distance on debut and should be better today following a chastening experience in stiffer company over 1300M last month. (11) ROYAL RIVER returns for the first time in ten weeks having not been too far away in four of six starts and looks a contender too.

Selections (6) Hangil (7) Baengnyeon Daero (3) Tango And Tango (11) Royal River
Next Best 2, 1
Fast Start 2, 5, 9

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

1. SAEROUN BOMUL – Two 3rd places, including last time when she led before weakening to 3rd. First try at further than the minimum.
2. SEUNGNI DAEJANG – Trained by South African Bart Rice, he had a 4th and 3rd in two starts so far. Up in trip for the first time and with strong claims.
3. SAKISAKI – Two 3rd places at 1000M and ran creditably in a good race at 1300M last start. In the frame.
4. TOP HERO – Last on debut in December in a slow time so sent back to trial. Looked much better when requalifying earlier this month but hard to recommend first up.
5. SIMON MAGIC – Decent 3rd of 7 at 1300M behind a couple of useful ones on debut on March 2nd. Not impossible here.
6. I’M YOUR STAR – Ran well on debut at this distance last October and he’s been closer than his results suggest in his three since. Back up to 1200M today, he has a chance.
7. AGUILENA – Stable-mate of Simon Magic. Debut-maker who trialed in acceptable fashion. Top jockey.
8. BAEKDU MYEONGWOL – A 5th and a pair of 4ths so far. Should get on the early speed here and can play a role in the finish. Stablemate of Top Hero.
9. FELICE – Stablemate of Seungni Daejang, he debuts here having looked useful in a trial two weeks ago. He led for much of it and will probably try to lead here too.
10. HUNTER PARK – A first-timer, it took him three trials to qualify and we’ll take a watching brief first-up.
11. WHIPLASH MARINE – Much improved on second start two weeks ago when 4th of 8 at this distance. 4th would be a realistic target again.


Race 2 NIL      

Verdict: This maiden race is restricted to three-year-olds hence the enhanced prize money. Bart Rice’s (2) SEUNGNI DAEJANG has run on well in both his two outings so far and the extra furlong today could suit him and accordingly we’ll make him the slight pick. (5) SIMON MAGIC looked competent when 3rd on debut earlier this month and can build on that here while (6) I’M YOUR STAR’s performances have been better than the raw form suggests. He returns to this trip for the first time since a strong showing on debut and can go close here. (3) SAKISAKI and (8) BAEKDU MYEONGWOL are others who should come under consideration.

Selections (2) Seungni Daejang (5) Simon Magic (3) Sakisaki (6) I’m Your Star
Next Best 8, 9, 1
Fast Start 1, 8, 9, 11

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

1. GOLDEN AGE – Best of 2nd from fifteen outings to date. 3rd at 1000M in February but didn’t impress last start. Minor money hopes here.
2. GIPPEUM SARANG – Hasn’t been getting any closer in recent starts. First try at 1300M today.
3. VIP KING – Inconsistent but has shown ability. Top jockey gets on today and if he gets a first start – which he has drawn well to do – he has a chance.
4. HANEOLUI BIT – Not impressed in two efforts so far.
5. SERENDIPITER – Shown nothing at all from eight outings. Big outsider.
6. GANGHAN JILJU – Improved 3rd on first try at this trip last time. Likely 2nd-favourite here.
7. CHIEF LEADER – She’s been getting closer across three starts so far. The one who beat her last time went on to run a very good 2nd last week at a higher class and she should win.
8. SEORABEOL YEOJE – Best of 3rd from eleven starts came at this distance in January. Disappointed last time when favourite (see Stewards) but probably worth another chance.
9. GEODAEHAN WONSEOK – Bit of a wildcard. He’s not done much across an interrupted career to date but looked sharp in a trial two weeks ago. Watch the market.
10. GURI TOWER – Well back behind Chief Leader last time and came back lame. Lots to find.
11. YEONGGWANGUI CHIC – First start since last October. She’d run well prior to the layoff and trialed up well in a heat made much faster than normal by Triple Nine. In the placing hunt.
12. WIRE BAND – First start since last June. Trialed up alongside Yeonggwangui Chic but she can’t be backed first-up.


Race 3 GIPPEUM SARANG 20180309 R2 bumped near 350
HANEOLUI BIT 20180202 R3 buffeted between horse near 800
SERENDIPITER 20180309 R2 slow to begin and jumped awkwardly with its head up
CHIEF LEADER 20180302 R3 bumped at start – bumped 450
SEORABEOL YEOJE 20180223 R3 jumped awkwardly, shifted inwards and bumped the side of its barrier – When questioned about performance, rider said he was instructed to lead and had to work hard early in the race to obtain that position as a result when he applied pressure to the horse in the home straight, it failed to respond and proved disappointing
GURI TOWER 20180302 R3 hung outwards rounding the turn from the 900 metres WARNING – horse was sensitive in the mouth and when attempting to keep the horse straight, it got its head up on several occasions – post race vet lame left hind

Verdict: (7) CHIEF LEADER looks very much the one to beat here. She was 2nd behind Gemsuryeong, who went on to contend a photo-finish with Great Rock at class 5 last week. She’s shown progression across each of her three starts to date and it shouldn’t take much more to win this, probably leading all the way. (6) GANGHAN JILJU is also (more…)

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (March 25)

Silver Wolf headlines Seoul’s feature while Today, Doraonpogyeongseon and Perdido Pomeroy face off at Busan on a big Sunday of racing in Korea. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05.

Silver Wolf Donga

Last year’ Champion Filly/Mare Silver Wolf won February’s Donga Ilbo Cup (Pic: KRA)

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

(2) JUNGLE BEAT ran very nicely for 2nd place on debut three weeks ago and Simon Foster’s filly looks hard to beat in this maiden for three-year-olds. She can set up camp just behind the early lead and if she runs like she did first-up, should be too strong late on. (9) HANSEN VOLT has shown some ability across two starts so far and should be looking to at least match the 3rd place he scored on his second outing a month ago. He’s another who perhaps won’t be the quickest out of the gate but can finish well. (12) FRENCH STAR looked competent enough on debut running 6th of 12 behind Hansen Volt and can improve today. (10) SANTOS and the solitary first-timer, (11) STAR LIST look to be others to follow.

Selections (2) Jungle Beat (9) Hansen Volt (12) French Star (10) Santos
Next Best 11, 4, 5
Fast Start 1, 4, 11, 12

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

Three-year-old maidens again, this time with two debut-makers and both look to be in with a decent chance first-up. (7) MENI BLADE won a trial back in January ahead of (9) TAEWANG SINHWA, who went on to race encouragingly first-up. She should be on the early speed here and should be a threat. The other first-timer is (10) SMARTY BLUE, who showed at the front in his trial and ran on well enough to suggest he has a chance too. If racecourse experience is preferred, then (6) HAENGBOK STAR looks to be the pick. He was 4th on debut at 1000M a month ago but the margins were not huge, and he ran on nicely suggesting that the extra furlong today will be in his favour. (2) MERLIN and (8) ADELE JEONGSANG are others who may improve.

Selections (6) Haengbok Star (7) Meni Blade (10) Smarty Blue (8) Adele Jeongsang
Next Best 2, 11
Fast Start 3, 7, 8, 10

Seoul Race 3 Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million 

It’s about time (8) MIGHTY COOL won a race. She’s zero for thirteen but recent performances suggest she has one in her and it could well be today. She was a decent 3rd last time in what was by no means a good race, but it was stronger than this and so long as she doesn’t leave herself too much to do, she can finally get off the mark. (5) RUN AWAY was behind Mighty Cool that day and she too remains a maiden. She is inconsistent but, in this company, should be looking to at least place. (9) GANADORA looks the greater threat though. She’s only raced four times so far and has shown promise with a 2nd and 3rd place at 1300M and 1700M respectively in her latest two. She’s likely to be on the early speed here and can go very close. (7) SEOUL STAR and (11) MAJJABEUN SON are others in at least the hunt for places.

Selections (8) Mighty Cool (9) Ganadora (5) Run Away (11) Majjabeun Son
Next Best 7, 4
Fast Start 7, 9, 12

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

(2) WONDERFUL JACKPOT was 3rd in both the Gyeonggi Govenor’s and Gwacheon Mayor’s Cups last autumn, Seoul’s top two juvenile races, before trying his luck in the Breeders’ Cup, the nation’s biggest race for two-year-olds, in December. That latter effort didn’t go well, and he’s not raced since but returns here with an excellent chance of making his way back to the winner’s circle. This is the distance at which he got his only win to date and he can settle behind the early speed and come through in the latter part (more…)

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

Saturday racing at Seoul sees 11 races from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Twelve maidens to kick us off. (2) SPEED YEOWANG registered her second career 3rd place finish last time out beating a couple of these in the process. It was a full eight-weeks ago so she comes in relatively fresh and has as good a chance as any of making the breakthrough here. (7) UN SEO was one of those beaten that day, but she ran well enough on reappearance at the end of February to suggest that she can come under consideration here. (5) GEOBOOGI MANSE and (6) HWANSANGUI BIT have both hinted at the potential to put in a good performance and can go well. The latter is likely to be on the early speed alongside (8) YOLO, who improved on his second start a month ago and can continue to make progress today.

Selections (2) Speed Yeowang (5) Geoboogi Manse (8) Yolo (7) Un Seo
Next Best 6, 10
Fast Start 2, 6, 8

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

More maidens but this time it is restricted to three-year-olds. (6) BAEKDUUI JEONGSANG enters after back to back 3rd place finishes, both at this distance, and looks the one to beat here, most likely looking to lead all the way. (9) CLEAN UP SECRET ran a good 3rd back at the beginning of January, beating Baekduui Jeongsang, and was set to be well backed when scheduled to face that one again in February. He had to be scratched as some blood was found in his nostrils prior to the race but nothing else was wrong with him and he returns here for a stable that is having its horses come into form. (1) SEONGAM JEUNE was a decent 4th on debut on February 25th, beating four of these in the process and should beat plenty again, while (2) MASYA already has a 2nd place to his name at the distance and can at least aim to match today.

Selections (6) Baekduui Jeongsang (9) Clean Up Secret (2) Masya (1) Songam Jeune
Next Best 10, 5
Fast Start 4, 6, 8

Race 3: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(10) WOOSEORA ICHEON ran well for 2nd at class and distance on February 25th, beating a couple of these along the way. His win came at this distance too and while he will want to get on speed early and will need to overcome the wide draw, he is capable of winning this. (12) SIMCHEONG SADAL was 5th in that race, about three lengths behind Wooseora Icheon, continuing a decent run of form and he can get closer today with the wide gate less of an issue than for the favourite. Another one draw wide, (11) MALAKAS can also go better than recent finishes suggest, facing slightly softer company today than in his latest couple of starts. Three horses step up in class today, two of them, (8) BANGGEUT BANGGEUT and (9) FIRST QUEEN, following maiden wins at this distance. Of the pair, (more…)