Christmas Day Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (December 25)

Every restaurant booked out in Seoul for Christmas? Plenty of space at the racecourse! Both thoroughbred tracks are in action as usual on Christmas Day with 11 races at Seoul and 6 in Busan. With racing taking a break next weekend, it’s the final meetings of 2022. Here are the previews:

Gwacheon Mayor’s Trophy winner Raon Giant is in action in the concluding race of the year at Seoul (Pic: KRA)

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

Juvenile maidens with ten of them fillies and all twelve racing for the very first time. Based on trials (11) CHILSAN DAEGYO will be a warm favourite. She made all in her heat, stopping the clock in a fast time and while she draws a touch wider than ideal, any improvement on that, will make her hard to beat. Another trial winner is (7) MUNHAK CENTRAL and she will be second favourite. She too led from gate to wire and while her time wasn’t as fast as that of Chilsan Daegyo (in a different heat on the same day), if she brings that form to the races, she can go well first up. (10) BARAMUI HYANGGI registered a time in her trial that while not on the fast side, suggested some potential and she will probably be the next in the market. (4) CHOEGANG NICE and (3) GREEN SHIELD others who can stamp their authority on debut.

Selections(11) Chilsan Daegyo (7) Munhak Central (10) Baramui Hyanggi (4) Choegang Nice
Next Best3, 6
Fast Start4, 6, 7, 11

Seoul Race 2: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Juvenile fillies but a rare race at class 4 level which gives the imports (imported horses must begin at class 4) a rare chance to compete. Four of these raced one another in a very similar event on October 30th and the winner that day was the appropriately named (3) RACE WINNER, who settled handy early and proved too strong. The weight conditions are the same, the gate if anything is better, and she can win again. (4) MIGHTY Q was 2nd in that October 30th race sitting on the heels of Race Winner until the closing stages. She has four lengths to overturn on that day’s winner but can get closer here.  (7) MEDICI WOLF has beaten a few of these across two starts so far and can accordingly be backed to do similar. Most significantly her latest outing saw her run 3rd in the Listed Gwacheon Mayor’s Trophy and a similar run will put her firmly in the mix. (2) BS POWER and (9) LOTUSMIREU others who can go close in a competitive race.

Selections(3) Race Winner (4) Mighty Q (7) Medici Wolf (2) BS Power
Next Best9, 5
Fast Start2, 3, 5, 8

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens with two standouts. (4) BADEN BADEN was an on-pace 2nd on debut over 1000M on November 26th. She was well-beaten by the standout winner Phoenix Serve but it was an encouraging first outing nonetheless and from a good gate and under a light weight, she can be on pace here and has every chance. Her rival for favourite status is (9) BULGOM MADRE. After winning a trial in October, she debuted on December 12th and having sat in midfield in the early stages of the 1000M test, she ran on strong to just go down by a neck, traveling significantly quicker than the winner. The additional furlong should suit, and she has every chance.  There are four first time starters. Among them (7) NAOL JEONGSANG trialled pleasingly enough, running 2nd in a fair – if unspectacular – time. This is a nice race to debut in and he has a chance. Another debut-maker, (6) SMARTY FIGHTER, along with the second-up (2) LUCKY BOUNCE are others who can enter the calculations.

Selections(4) Baden Baden (9) Bulgom Madre (7) Naol Jeongsang (6) Smarty Fighter
Next Best2, 8
Fast Start3, 4, 6, 12

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens with only two of the twelve having previous racing experience. They are going to be the two leading contenders in the market though as they both raced well. (4) BLUE MORE will be hot favourite. He was an on-pace 2nd on debut over this distance on November 27th, well beaten by a good winner but well clear of the rest. He draws well and with some natural improvement may take some beating. (12) BACKTOTHELEGEND also debuted over this distance in a different race on November 27th. He settled midfield and ran on for 3rd in a good time and is set to be the main danger here. As for the first-timer starters, a few did enough in trials to suggest they can compete for places. (9) KING OF THE YEAR was on pace in his heat and stopped the clock in a good time while (3) EVERY KING IJI and (7) SMILE KING also did enough to suggest they should be kept safe.

Selections(4) Blue More (12) Backtothelegend (9) King Of The Year (3) Every King Iji
Next Best 
Fast Start 

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Juvenile fillies and on the final day of a season which have seen the Raon Organisation dominate, the appropriately named (3) RAON EMPIRE will be hotly favoured to win. She was favourite on debut over 1000M on November 13th but while she overcame gate ten to get to an eventual handy position, she could only manage 3rd. She should have come on for that run and from a much better gate, will be hard to beat. Second favourite will be (9) HERO QUEEN She has gone right back on both starts so far but rallied very well at her latest to run 3rd over this distance eon November 26th. The wide draw won’t be a problem and she will be challenging late. (12) ANYANG POKKYEOKGI was an improved 3rd in a quick time at start number two over 1000M on November 12th and may appreciate the step up in trip here. (10) AMAN BAROWS and (11) TAURUS QUEEN join the ranks of those drawn wide to be in the hunt.

Selections(3) Raon Empire (9) Hero Queen (12) Anyang Pokkyeogi (10) Aman Barows
Next Best11, 7
Fast Start3, 5, 10, 11

Busan Race 2: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Juvenile fillies with five of the eleven racing for the first time. Both (1) GANGSEO GIANT and (2) ALPHA THOR come out of the Gyeongnam Do Min Ilbo Trophy where Alpha Thor was the best of them in 5th to Gangseo Giant’s 8th. Coming back in trip, they look set to battle out the honours here with Gangseo Giant sightly favoured to overturn the form. (3) CARPE BABEL debuted in the Do Min Ilbo Trophy, which was always going to be a tough ask first-up and from a wide gate she wasn’t a factor. She had previously won a trial in good order and it’s fair to give her a fresh start today. Among the first-time starters, (7) JOY JUNMA and (10) MACH BULLET perhaps have the best chance of making an immediate impact.

Selections(1) Gangseo Giant (2) Alpha Thor (3) Carpe Babel (7) Joy Junma
Next Best10, 8
Fast Start2, 3, 9, 10

Seoul Race 5: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

More maidens and it’s hard to look past (10) POWERFUL HWASEONG. That’s based on two of his latest three outings when 3rd and 2nd over this distance in times that were both faster than anything else here has achieved. He has a decent finish on him and doesn’t need to lead so the wide draw is of little concern, and at start number five, he looks ready to win. The main danger is (6) DONGBANG SAGI. She enters off an improved 2nd place over 1300M on November 27th when on pace throughout and beaten only by a good favourite. She’ll be on the speed again here and can be in this a long way. (4) CAMINO has only raced once, finishing midfield over 1300M on November 20th. He should strip fitter for that experience and can go closer today. (12) ULTRA GALAXY and (2) WINNER DRAGON are among others in the frame.


Christmas Day Racing At Seoul: Race-By-Race Preview (December 25)

Christmas Day sees a bumper day of racing in Seoul with 15 races from 10:40 to 18:00. English race cards can be found here.


Notes on races 6-15 are below. It’s going to be cold and crisp but dry day. Christmas Day at the races in Seoul is surely something everybody should do once!

Race 6: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 13:30 

(1) DREAM SUN was a creditable 4th behind three decent ones over 1300M at the end of last month and should have too much here. (3) HAWK EYES, who returned from a lengthy spell to run 2nd over 1000M on December 3rd, can go close again while (2) GONSEOL and (11) CLAY SHOOT are also capable of going close while (4) HWANGGEUM NEUGDAE returned from six months off in the race behind Dream Sun last month, looked like he needed the race and can go better here.

Selections: (1) Dream Sun (3) Hawk Eyes (2) Gonseol (4) Hwanggeum Neugdae
Next Best: 11
Rating: 1, 12, 3=6, 4
Fast Starters: 4, 11
Start-200M: 11, 4, 12, 7, 6
200M-Finish: 1, 3, 6, 5, 9

Race 7: Class 5 / 1300M / Handicap / KRW 40 Million / 14:00 

(1) SIMCHEONG SADAL got his maiden win at the third attempt last start. He’s had two months off since and is up in class today but will be favourite to score once more. (8) DAEJANGGEUM has come close in several tries at this level and should be looking to get close once more while (9) GIANT TEUKGEUP may be up in class despite being without a win but can get among the places again after consecutive 2nd place finishes. (3) FLYING STORM and especially (10) SPASTAR have too proven their competitiveness at this level and are not to be discounted.

Selections: (1) Simcheong Sadal (10) Spastar (8) Daejanggeum (9) Giant Teukgeup
Next Best: 5, 3, 11
Rating: 10, 1, 7, 5, 8
Fast Starters: 1, 7, 8
Start-200M: 1, 7, 8, 9, 2
200M-Finish: 3, 5, 10, 11, 12 (more…)