Cycling

Seoul & Busan Saturday: Race-by-Race Preview (May 1)

The National Assembly’s Culture, Sports and Tourism Committee this week passed an amendment to the Bicycle Racing Act to permit the online sale of betting tickets for cycle racing (Keirin), potentially saving that industry from Covid-shutdown induced oblivion. The equivalent Agriculture committee, under whose jurisdiction racing falls, is yet to pass a similar bill for horse racing, for whom the existential threat looms larger than ever. There is behind closed doors horse racing on Saturday at Seoul (8 races from 11:00 to 18:00 and Busan (6 races from 11:30 to 16:50). Betting outlets at Jeju, Gwangju, Daegu, Changwon and Cheonan will be open at 10% indoor capacity. Here are the previews:

Thinking of relaunching this site as a Keirin blog

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

Fillies kick us off. (7) MAGIC RECORD was a winner on debut over this distance on March 28th when she overcame a wide draw to take up a handy position before running on strong in a good time on an admittedly wet and fast track. She draws better today and with any kind of improvement at all, she’ll be hard to beat. (5) CHEONMA TODAY won back to back races at class and distance in November and December. She has raced twice since then at 1300M and 1400M, both times being prominent early before running out of steam late on. She should be happier back down in trip today and is the main danger. (1) SHINE MUSIC returned from eight months out to run a decent 3rd in fast race over 1300M at the end of March and can build on that today. (8) GLOBAL CHEONSA has mixed her form a little but has hinted at ability too. There is one debut maker and (4) AQUA PUNCH led her trial before running 3rd in a good time and can go well first-up.

Selections(7) Magic Record (5) Cheonma Today (4) Aqua Punch (1) Shine Music
Next Best8, 9
Fast Start3, 5, 7, 11

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

Maidens here. (4) COOL GUY has finished 2nd in both of his starts so far at 1000M and at 1200M and both times behind promising looking winners. His time for this distance was considerably faster than anything else in this field has managed to date and from gate 4 he is likely to be on or close to the pace from the start. He will be hot favourite and should win against a weak set of opposition. (2) FANTASTIC LEADER was sent back to trials after an inauspicious debut in January but returned in better order with a 3rd place at this distance in March. It wasn’t a fast time but if he can continue to improve, he should figure here. Similarly bad on debut was (6) CARIBBEAN DAY. He too got sent back to trial and he looked well in it posting a good time. Expect better today. (5) SORI TAEPUNG and (13) DRAGON ROYAL are others with scope to improve and compete for some minor money, Sori Taepung absolutely blitzing a trial earlier this month.

Selections(4) Cool Guy (2) Fantastic Leader (6) Caribbean Day (5) Sori Taepung
Next Best13, 8
Fast Start2, 4, 5, 6

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

(1) OLD SPECIAL has beaten a few of these across his latest two starts, both times running on strong from wide draws for 2nd and 4rg at 1200M and 1300M. He gets the inside gate today which should make life a bit easier and he is favoured to make the breakthrough. (5) BEST CHEONSANG ran 3rd to Old Special’s 2nd when they raced one another at this distance back in February. Best Cheonsang had led for much of that race and she was similarly prominent before running 4th on her latest appearance in March. She too draws well to lead she can be a danger. (2) GIMCHEON YEONGUNG did nothing too wrong when 3rd on debut in March having come through a heap of trials. He too is likely to aim to get on the early speed. (9) SONGAM CAT won at ridiculous odds last time out having previously shown no clue that she was actually a racehorse. As the only previous winner in this field, some grudging respect must therefore be accorded but this race does look better and lighting perhaps won’t strike again. There is one debut maker and she looks to have promise. (3) SMART HIGH comfortably won a trial at the beginning of this month and the Smarty Jones filly goes straight into contention.

Selections(1) Old Special (5) Best Cheonsang (3) Smart High (2) GImcheon Yeongung
Next Best7, 9
Fast Start1, 2, 3, 5

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

Tricky one. (10) FIGHT DREAM came from well back to run a fast 2nd over 1300M on April 4th, a big improvement from his debut at 1200M. The additional half furlong today may well suit and he is sure to be one of the leading contenders. (1) GANGJAUICHEONGCHUN has also come from well off the pace in both of his outings to date. They both came at this distance and he improved from 5th on debut to 3rd last time when he beat a couple of the others who go here. He will surely be involved again but has to be careful to not leave himself too much to do. Getting 5kg from both those is (5) UNJU SESANG. She races for just the second time and hasn’t been seen since her debut back in January when she was a strong 2nd over 1200M. Today’s distance could well suit and she looks very nicely in with plenty of potential to improve. (2) BAEDARI ICON and (4) ADELE SMART, the latter the only previous winner in the field, are others with claims.

Selections(5) Unju Sesang (10) Fight Dream (1) Gangjauicheongchun (4) Adele Smart
Next Best2, 9
Fast Start4, 5, 9, 11

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

(13) FEDERAL EYE has been knocking on the door in his latest few starts and drops back in trip slightly after a strong 3rd when favourite on April 3rd. The wide draw shouldn’t be an issue and Moon Se Young remains aboard the filly who is set to be a warm favourite to break thourhg at start number six here. The leading challengers also have wide gates. (12) K BLADE was a much improved 4th at this distance last start and can maintain that momentum today while (11) TAKE HEART has shown steady progression across three starts so far, culminating in a good 2rd place at 1400M last time out. In a race with not much early speed, Kim Yong Geun may be tempted to take her to the front early, despite the gate. The rest looks a bit ordinary with (3) BUL HWASAN and (7) SOUJU, the latter 5th behind Take Heart last time, perhaps the most likely to make an impact.

Selections(13) Federal Eye (12) K Blade (11) Take Heart (7) Souju
Next Best3, 1
Fast Start4, 7, 11, 14

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

(4) COLOR WIND made all to break through at start number six on March 27th with an emphatic score at this distance. It was certainly visually impressive and the time in the conditions was creditable too. She’s drawn nicely again and could well back up. She is up in class though and this is a stiffer test though. (5) ACHIM BIT comes in off a good class and distance 2nd three weeks ago. She likes to sit just off the speed and has a strong finish on her and she will be a danger in the closing stages. Draw a line through (2) MAN OF THE WORLD’s most recent performance on March 27th as it was first up after four months off. The Hansen gelding may be yet to win in thirteen attempts but he has eight top five finishes and should be better today. Like Color Wins, (8) DONGNAM BULPAE comes in a last start winner. He too made all and while his times haven’t been consistently quick as some of the others and he is up in class, he comes down in the weights and can be competitive. (9) FINAL PARTY mixes his form but goes well on his day and looks a potential place line.

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