Eoma Eoma

Sunday Seoul & Busan: Raon The Fighter v Eoma Eoma Race-By-Race Preview (January 9)

It hasn’t taken long for the new season to throw up a heavyweight clash as the unbeaten Raon The Fighter once more takes on Eoma Eoma, who he beat to win the Owners’ Association Trophy a month ago in the concluding class 1 feature at Seoul. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12: 12:00 to 16:40. All betting locations are open, however, attendance must be pre-booked on the MyCard app and proof of evidence of up to date vaccination against Covid-19 is required.

Raon The Fighter

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

Three-year-old maidens open proceedings and (10) WILD RUNNER is set to be favourite. She ran 2nd on debut behind a couple of decent ones in a fast time. The one concern is that it was back in October but regardless, any similar kind of performance should see her winning this. If she is a bit rusty, then another filly, (6) HIWPARAM, may be one to take advantage. She too ran a very solid 3rd on debut, in her case on November 20th when she was handy throughout, completing the course in a fair time on a slower running track than Wild Runner’s time. She draws well here and should go close. (4) GEOMOON came home 6th behind a few promising ones on debut and should have benefitted from the experience, while (9) ARCH CHARM similarly didn’t do too much wrong when 5th from a wide gate at her first attempt. Among the six first-timers, (1) CHANGER is perhaps the best at this stage.

Selections(10) Wild Runner (6) Hwiparam (4) Geomoon (9) Arch Charm
Next Best1, 12
Fast Start1, 2, 6, 10

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

A pair of socks should be battling this one out. We’ll side with (2) WILD SOCKS, who ran 2nd at start number two at 1000M having led for almost the entire way around. He comes up slightly in trip but draws beautifully again and could go all the way. (7) TITAN SOCKS has the same owner although a different trainer and has followed a similar trajectory so far, improving to 3rd at his second outing on December 4th. He came from off the pace though, working home well and it may be that the additional furlong is in his favour here. (12) ORGALIM comes into the calculations having beaten several of these on his way to 2nd place at this distance on December 4th in a fair time. He sat handy that day so may need a bit of luck from the wide gate (9) GEOLJAK MAN was 3rd in that race and along with (3) MUNHAK FOREST looks to have another placing chance here.

Selections(2) Wild Socks (7) Titan Socks (12) Orgalim (9) Geoljak Man
Next Best3, 10
Fast Start2, 3, 10, 12

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

It may be a bit risky to go all-in on anything drawn as wide as he has done but it’s not easy to see (14) TES GO DAEBO getting rolled here. He has raced just twice, registering a 4th and a 2nd, the latest at 1200M when handy and running on. The additional trip may help him find a decent position from the car park. (3) OKDONG GONGJU has five top-five finishes among ten outings so far and looks set to be one who could push the favourite here from a good draw. (10) SAENAE POWERFUL was a significantly improved 3rd at start number two on December 12th leading most of the way around and he too should be a contender here. The rest have been models of inconsistency but (7) TINA and (8) NAMSAN DREAM could potentially compete for places.

Selections(14) Tes Go Daebo (3) Okdong Gongju (10) Saenae Powerful (7) Tina
Next Best8, 4
Fast Start8, 10, 12, 14

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

Maidens, with four of the eleven racing for the first time. (9) B. K. HANA comes in with form reading the best following a 2nd and a 3rd from her latest two appearances. The 2nd was at today’s distance when she was handy throughout from a wide gate and with a time more than second faster than any of the others have managed, she is the one to beat. (7) JATNAMUGIL is the logical second pick. He was 6th to B. K. Hana two starts back but the improved to 3rd at his latest outing when stepped up to 1200. He’ll be on pace and in this a long way. (4) EUNSEONG YEONGUNG beat a couple of these when 5th on debut at the distance on November 26th. He draws much better today and should have come on. Among the first timers, (2) KENDRICK is stand out. The Take Charge Indy colt ran a strong trial in a fast time and from a great draw can go well. (1) EUTTEUMI perhaps has potential to improve.

Selections(9) B. K. Hana (7) Jatnamugil (4) Eunseong Yeongung (2) Kendrick
Next Best1, 8
Fast Start3, 7, 8, 9

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

After trialing up alongside some established horses, (12) NAMSAM KKOT ran a solid 3rd on debut over 1200M, settling in midfield and running on strongly. She draws wide but her running style that day suggests it shouldn’t be too much of a problem and she could be challenging for the win here. (10) RAON THE WEEKEND had an ordinary day at the office in probably better company than this at his latest start on December 11th when he wasn’t able to get on pace from a very wide draw. The draw is only a little better today, but he should have an easier time getting to the front and the additional half-furlong can help.  Continuing the theme of wide draws, (13) DONGSEO YEOGEOL was a significantly improved 2nd when going back and coming from off the pace over 1200M on December 5th. She had raced prominently in previous starts, to no avail, so expect similar tactics here. (4) REAL CONCORD is a fancy who does draw well and should be in the hunt along with (9) ONE MORE RUSH.

Selections(12) Namsam Kkot (10) Raon The Weekend (13) Dongseo Yeogeol (4) Real Concord
Next Best9, 5
Fast Start4, 9, 10, 13

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Fillies and mares only here. Based on her last start runner-up finish at this distance in a time quicker than anything else in this race has managed, (8) TAEPUNGI is the one to beat here. She sat midfield and ran on that day and under a light weight again, can go one better. (9) ALPHA V should have come on for her debut run when settling midfield before getting well back and then working home adequately. She had previously posted fast trial times so there is some ability there and a more mature performance can see her right in this. (2) HAMAN YEOHANGSAN returned from three months off to run a good 3rd over this distance on December 19th. She can strip fitter here and get close. (1) OMEGA GIRL and (6) WORLD FLOWER came home 2nd and 3rd respectively when they raced each other at 1400M on December 10th and both can have placing claims again.

Selections(8) Taepungi (9) Alpha V (2) Haman Yeohangsan (1) Omega Girl
Next Best6, 12
Fast Start2, 5, 8, 9
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EOMA EOMA SPRINTS TO SBS CROWN WHILE MR. AFLEET STAYS ON TO WIN CUP CLASSIC FOR AUSSIE TRAINER WOLSLEY

Eoma Eoma finally got the Graded race win his talent has always promised in the SBS Sports Sprint while Australian trainer Peter Wolsley saddled his fifth Korean Graded winner as Mr. Afleet took out the KRA Cup Classic on a big Sunday afternoon of action at Seoul Racecourse.

The SBS Sports Sprint (1200M-KOR G3) was one of the few Graded races that managed to get run in 2020 and on Sunday, Morfhis returned to defend his title while East Jet and Blue Chipper took their place in a star-studded lineup. Eoma Eoma was only 3rd in last year’s race but had progressed to such an extent in the meantime, including smashing the 1400M Seoul track record, that he was sent off as hot favourite, despite drawing the widest gate.

In the event, that draw meant that Eoma Eoma would be wide all the way around and would be tested every step of the way by East Jet as Alan Munro kept his Strike Again gelding, winner of last year’s SROA Trophy on the rail and in the lead throughout. Moon Se Young meanwhile on Eoma Eoma simply couldn’t find his way inside with not only East Jet but also Blue Chipper and Yeongung Louis keeping him outside.

Class told, as in the home straight and still wide, Eoma Eoma was relentless and despite a very game run by East Jet, Eoma Eoma eventually swept by just meters from the finishing line to win by half a length. It was a tenth career win on his twelfth start for the American bred four-year-old colt, who is by Algorithms and out of the Run Away And Hide mare Lignite.

East Jet was a strong 2nd while there was a potential breakout performance by lightly-raced three-year-old Yeongung Louis [Violence – Don’t Stop To Shop (Unbridled’s Song)] in 3rd. It proved a hard day at the office though for defending champion Morfhis, who ran 5th, and even harder for Blue Chipper, who faded to 9th. It’s a first Graded win for Eoma Eoma, but few would back it being the last.

An hour later, once more the widest gate prevailed as Mr. Afleet won the 36th running of the KRA Cup Classic (2000M-KOR G2).

The 2019 Korea Cup winner Moonhak Chief led from the gate, but Mr. Afleet [Afleet Alex – In Escrow (Vindication)] took command in the home straight and saw off the attentions of the up and comer Haengbok Wangja to claim victory by a nose in a photo-finish.

Moonhak Chief would fade to 7th while Cheongdam Dokki, seeking a third win in the race after victories in 2017 and 2018 briefly showed just behind the leaders but ultimately weakened to last (an initial post-race check showed no obvious issues). With Tiz Plan also misfiring, there was a sense of a possible changing of the guard although the six-year-old Jjang Kong running 3rd and the evergreen eight-year-old Shamrocker, a remarkable 4th quickly belied that idea.

Speaking after the race, winning jockey Seo Seung-un told in-house broadcaster KRBC that everything went to plan “The draw wasn’t good, but I was surprised how easy it was to get to the position that I wanted to be in. I followed Moonhak Chief across and from then on it was simple.” When quizzed on whether he thought he and Mr. Afleet would be back in the winner’s circle at Seoul in December’s Grand Prix Stakes, Seo had something else in mind. “Of course, the Grand Prix is the target but he is eligible for the (Busan) Owners’ Cup (1600M on November 21st) so they might go there, but I just hope for the Grand Prix” before adding: “it isn’t up to me, anyway.”

Seo Seung-un will be traveling back to Busan minus a substantial percentage of his winnings after stewards penalized him to the tune of $1,000 for unacceptable whip use in the home straight. Haengbok Wangja’s jockey Kim Yong-geun was also found guilty and punished for the same offence. In their ungainly windmilling, both were lucky they didn’t unbalance their mounts to the extent of taking them out of contention and both thoroughly deserve their (lenient) punishment.

It was another training triumph for Peter Wolsley, who back in 2007 became the first foreign trainer to be granted a license in Korea. It took him several years of sheer hard graft to establish himself, but in January last year Mr. Afleet chalked up Wolsley’s 500th Korean winner. On Sunday, the same horse gave him his fifth Korean Graded Stakes winner and his first since Bold Kings came to Seoul and won the Grand Prix Stakes in 2015. This coming Boxing Day, Mr. Afleet may just make the unassuming man from Bendigo a two-time Grand Prix winner.

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 11)

Sunday’s racing is at Seoul (10 races from 10:45 to 18:00) and at Busan (7 races from 11:10 to 16:40). Eoma Eoma faces Morfhis and Raon First in Seoul’s feature race. Here are the previews:

Morfhis got the better of Eoma Eoma in last year’s SBS Sports sprint but concedes a huge amount of weight on Sunday

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

We’re go-go on (3) BOGO TTO BOGO here following his last start win at this distance when he settled handily behind the leaders before running on strongly in the straight. He didn’t win by much, but he gets a slightly better draw today and has solid claims to follow up. Likely favourite is (11) JANGSAN GUARD. He is an improving type who ran a close 3rd to Bogo Tto Bogo last time when ridden to the lead early. He may need a bit of luck today from a wide draw but it’s clear he has potential. (12) SOEWAKKOT scored a soft win over 1000M last start. She led all the way and was too strong, registering a fast time. She steps out to 1200M here and doesn’t get much luck with the draw but with some luck can feature in the finish. (5) ICE STAR was a narrow winner at this distance two starts back. He only managed 6th when returning to action on June 19th but can aim for a place here. (4) JILJU BORN another in the placing hunt.

Selections(3) Bogo Tto Bogo (11) Jangsan Guard (12) Soewakkot (5) Ice Star
Next Best4, 6
Fast Start1, 4, 11, 12

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

We’ll take a chance on a first-timer starter here. (6) DONGTEUJA BOY. His dam is a half-sister to Dongbanui Gangja, one of the great runners in Korea of the early 2000s and she herself was a precocious talent winning her first six races. Her first foal to make the track was similarly good early on. Dongteuja Boy ran 3rd in his trial in a fast time behind two experienced racehorses and he has every chance of scoring first up. If you prefer experience, then (2) DOCTOR TEXAS is the one for you. He was 5th on debut over this distance before running a solid 4th over 1300M second-up on June 12th when he was on pace throughout. Back in trip and with a good gate he should be on pace again and has every chance of going all the way. (11) K CHUJKE was a significantly improved 2nd at his third start on June 13th and can build on that here while (1) SPEED MAST and (8) B J SONG have potential for improvement.

Selections(6) Dongteuja Boy (2) Doctor Texas (11) K Chukje (1) Speed Mast
Next Best8, 9
Fast Start2, 4, 9, 12

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

There is just the one unraced entrant here and we’re going to take a chance on him. The only two-year-old in the race, (4) BULBANGUL is a Hansen colt who trialed up very nicely, working home well three-lengths behind international Listed winner Dolkong. He should have derived great benefit from that excursion and with Moon Se Young aboard, is worth serious consideration first-up. (3) GEOLJAK WOMAN has placed at 1200M and returned to form lats start when 2nd over 1000M in a good time She was hard ridden that day to be handy and then ran on well in the straight and did her best work near the finish. A repeat of that run puts her in the mix. (11) REMEMBER WHEN is sure to have backers based on her latest outing when 2nd over 1200M, taking an early bump and then making up ground in the straight. She’s never been worse than 6th in seven appearances and surely goes close again. (1) RUN TO GOAL is worth thought based on her last start 2nd over 1000M, which was a big improvement. She looks ready to step back up in trip and should be competitive.

Selections(4) Bulbangul (3) Geoljak Woman (11) Remember When (1) Run To Goal
Next Best5, 6
Fast Start1, 8, 11, 12

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

(12) MISS INDIE debuted over 1300M on May 30th, quickly working her way to the front from gate eleven and then running on for a comfortable win. Neither the step up in trip or the even wider draw should give her too many problems and the half-sister of Mr. Afleet, a winner of seven from twelve so far, should be maintaining her 100% record here. (3) B.K. KING STAR is likely to be the clear second favourite. He comes in off his maiden win at start five on June 5th when he settled handy before running on strong over this distance. He draws well and can give the favourite a scare. (4) HONEY STAR has hinted at some ability with his best so far being a smart 3rd at this distance back in May and he has placing claims here as does (5) TRIPLE JILJU, who improved last start when 4th in a decent time over 1000M. He tries this trip for the first time today. (2) BLUE OAK the best of the rest.

Selections(12) Miss Indie (3) B.K. King Star (4) Honey Star (5) Triple Jilju
Next Best2, 7
Fast Start5, 7, 9, 12

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

(4) THE FIGHTING has shown ability and last start it began to all come together with a 2nd at this trip in a good time. He worked hard to be on the pace all the way and battled on well. He draws closer today which should assist him. (11) BLUE HAMMER is potentially the betting favourite. Last start in the wet, he was handy before drifting back and working home adequately in the straight. Previously he raced handily on the rails and made-up good ground to be 2nd and could nail this race if he repeated that run although he may need some luck from the wide draw. (7) BEST FORCE has finished close at hand in recent starts in fair times. Last time out he was ridden hard to be midfield before running wide and running on. He can figure in the finish here. (5) DAESEUNG GAON improved to 3rd last time when settled well back in the field and working her way through the field late on. She along with (6) WONDERFUL ORANGE have placing claims.

Selections(4) The Fighting (11) Blue Hammer (7) Best Force (5) Daeseung Gaon
Next Best6, 10
Fast Start2, 6, 7, 11

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million

(8) HAENAM HAMMER registered back-to-back wins over 1200M and a mile in March and April before running 2nd at this distance on her first crack at class 5 on May 29th, beaten by Sunlight Boy. She can be on pace or handy and looks to have the potential for further development. (7) HILL MORE comes in off consecutive runner-up finishes, the latter of which was at this class. He tends to go back and then run on strong and while he does carry an extra couple of kilos today, he should be in the finish today but may have to settle for yet another near miss. (5) FLAT BABE ran 3rd behind Hill More at class and distance on June 6th. Just like Hill More she is yet to win, but she is also yet to miss the top three in four starts. She gets a better draw today and can sit just behind the early speed. That speed may be set by (4) ECOPIA. Having run 3rd on debut, the Colonel John filly broke through at start number two over 1000M on June 12th. She comes up in both class and distance here, but from a good draw can get to the lead and cause problems. (12) SEOBU QUEEN among others with placing claims.

Selections(8) Haenam Hammer (7) Hill More (5) Flat Babe (4) Ecopia
Next Best12, 1
Fast Start4, 6, 8, 10

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million

Fillies only here. Likely favourite is (5) YULONG STAR who put in a much-improved run last start at class and distance when she recovered from an awkward start to settle midfield and run on resolutely. She looks ready to win here. (9) SARYEONI QUEEN is up in class following a four-length score last time out on May 29th. She has been consistent and run good times and if she can get on the pace here, she has winning chances again. (2) WONDERFUL HEART is a winner at 1300M and hasn’t been too far away in recent efforts. She is an on-pace type of runner so the barrier brings here into play here. (8) CATCH CHARM has been the beaten favourite at both of her latest two starts. In the first of them she led then weakened in the straight while in the second she was midfield throughout without quickening. She’ll not be favourite today but there is talent there and she’s worth keeping safe in the wider numbers. (11) RUBICON another in the frame.

Selections(5) Yulong Star (9) Saryeoni Queen (2) Wonderful Heart (8) Catch Charm
Next Best11, 6
Fast Start2, 3, 6, 11

Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million

Plenty on the hunt here. We’ll go for (5) DUNCAN to prevail though. He holds the fastest time of any of these which he achieved when registering his maiden win back in January and has since acquitted himself competently enough in starts at 1800M and again at a mile. In this company he should be able to get close to the early pace and this can be his day. (7) POKPUNG EONDEOK beat Duncan last time out as the pair finished 3rd and 4th respectively at class and distance. He likes to go back in his races and then run on and while that does mean he sometimes needs some luck to avoid trouble in running, he can be a big danger here. The experienced (4) MAGIC FLYING looks like he is coming back into form. He ran a close 2nd to Man Of Top when sent off at decent odds just two weeks ago when he worked forward early from a wide draw and with Seo Seung-un taking the ride today, he has every chance. (3) TWO TWO LEADS and (10) SINBIHAN YEOIN are among others with placing hopes.

Selections(5) Duncan (7) Pokpung Eondeok (4) Magic Flying (3) Two Two Leads
Next Best10, 12
Fast Start2, 5, 6, 9

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million

(1) ON POINT broke through for a class 5 win at his latest start over this distance on June 12th. He had the widest gate that day and settled in midfield before running on strong to beat a useful field that contained a couple of today’s rivals. He has shown himself capable of running on pace too, so the inside gate gives jockey Kim Dong-soo plenty of options. He’s the one to beat. (7) JOY BROTHER was 3rd to On Point in that June 29th race. He settled midfield and then ran on, meeting a bit of interference at the 500M. With a clear run today, he can get closer. (9) CHOEGANG BLACK comes up in class after a last start win over 1300M. Her time was competitive, and she appears to have scope for further development. Another last start class 6 winner and possible each-way option here is (10) RULES CLASS. He won by a good margin over 1200M when settling midfield and running on, indicating that he may fancy this distance. (8) FEDERAL EYE is another with solid claims to at least a place.

Selections(1) On Point (7) Joy Brother (9) Choegang Black (10) Rules Class
Next Best8, 2
Fast Start4, 5, 7, 9
(more…)

Eoma Eoma Defeats East Jet In Sprint Showdown

Eoma Eoma turned the tables on East Jet as the pair produced the sprint of the year so far on a soaking wet track at Seoul Racecourse last Sunday.

Punters couldn’t split the pair with both the locally bred East Jet (by Strike Again) and the American import Eoma Eoma (by Algorithms) being sent off as co-favourites. Eoma Eoma perhaps the more brilliant of the pair but from a better draw on a wet track and over 1200M, the ultra-consistent East Jet had plenty of cards to play too.

Ultimately, breaking from gate 13, Moon Se Young on Eoma Eoma didn’t try to cross the field to lead. The pair that did opt to take on East Jet for that early advantage, Yaho Smart Cat and Complete Sweep, quickly capitulated and ended up finishing last and second-last.

East Jet had to use up plenty to go with them and when Eoma Eoma finally looked up on his outside with a furlong to go, he could give no more, finishing a length in arrears but still well clear of 3rd placed M J Power. The winning time – on a day when the wet track was resulting in some ultra-fast races – was among the top five fastest times ever recorded at the distance in Seoul

Eoma Eoma moves on to seven wins from nine starts while East Jet, who like Moonhak Chief a week earlier lost little in defeat, is now on eight from eleven. Oh what we would give for there to be a Korea Sprint this summer.

Seoul Sunday: Eoma Eoma vs East Jet – Race-By-Race Preview (March 28)

It’s another Super Sunday at Seoul yet no crowds will be allowed in to witness Eoma Eoma and East Jet facing each other in what should be an epic sprint tussle over the 1200M in the feature event. It remains galling that even the small and enclosed indoor Jangchung Arena in downtown Seoul was able to host spectators this weekend for a volleyball play-off series while the vast expanse of Seoul Racecourse isn’t allowed to admit anyone. It is what it is, however, and betting outlets south of (and including) Cheonan will be open at 20% of indoor seated capacity. It’s a cracking day’s racing in prospect with 15 races from 10:45 to 18:00. Here is the race-by-race preview:

Eoma Eoma (left) and East Jet clash again (Pic: KRA)

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

Maidens in the opener with six of the fourteen going around for the very first time. Third time could well be the charm for (14) HOLIDAY CHARM. He has run on well but has arrived on the scene too late in both starts so far finishing in 2nd and in 3rd. He gets an extra furlong to play with today and while the draw is less than ideal, he can make the breakthrough. In the most recent of his races, Holiday Charm was 3rd with (9) BURUI GASOK in 2nd. That was Burui Gasok’s debut and very accomplished he looked too, leading for most of the way before getting run down late on by a good winner. He has serious claims and probably starts favourite. (8) DESK TAP ran 4th on his own debut in the same race and can aim to build on that today. As for the first time starters, there were a couple of eye-catchers in trials. (11) COMPLETE HONOR won his trial in good style while (12) MAGIC RECORD registered a fast time running on strong. Both can go well first up.

Selections(14) Holiday Charm (9) Burui Gasok (12) Magic Record (11) Complete Honor
Next Best8, 1
Fast Start5, 8, 9, 14

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

Three-year-old fillies only here. (12) K N MENIQUEEN is going to be hot favourite here. While she finished well back in her first two, her times were adequate and it wasn’t much of a surprise when she won at start number three on February 5th with three of these back down the track behind her. The draw shouldn’t be an issue and she should be winning again. There are couple of others with potential. (1) SHOWMAKER ran 3rd on debut behind K N Meniqueen. That was encouraging enough to suggest there is more to come and she should be close to the pace from the inside draw here. (10) BEST CHEONSANG ran an improved 3rd at start number two in February. She has led both her races so far and will be expected to be on the early pace again. (9) GLOBAL CHEONSA was 4th in that race, continuing to show gradual improvement and looks a potential place line here along with (the solitary debut-maker (14) CHOEGANG BLACK. She ran on strong in a fast trial and could be interesting first-up.

Selections(12) K N Meniqueen (10) Best Cheonsang (1) Showmaker (14) Choegang Black
Next Best9, 2
Fast Start1, 3, 10, 13

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

(5) CHEONMA TODAY showed good speed when leading all the way for back to back wins over 1200M in November and December. She weakened into 4th when tried at 1400M on February but splitting the difference at 1300M today and with the benefit of a very nice draw, she could return to the winner’s circle. The only other previous winner in the field is (8) CUPID BULLET. He was a speedy winner over 1000M on his second outing at the start of February and while up in trip here, looks set to be the main danger. (11) TAP QUALITY has been knocking on the door in his three starts so far and is one of only three in the race who has prior experience of this trip. He will be there or thereabouts again. (6) BODYGUARD and (12) HOEDURYEONG were both a touch disappointing on their respective latest outings but have hinted at ability and can aim for some money here.

Selections(5) Cheonma Today (8) Cupid Bullet (11) Tap Quality (6) Bodyguard
Next Best12, 4
Fast Start5, 8, 11, 12

Race 4: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(9) ACE PRINCE remains winless but has finished in the top five in all four of his starts so far. He enters having run 4th on his first try at this distance last time and looks nicely in here to make the breakthrough. Expect him to be on pace from the start and go all the way. (5) CHAMPION GAMUN will be challenging for the early lead. He has shown progress over his own four outings prior to today and steps up to 1400M for the first time with claims to go close. (6) POWER MUSIC beat a few of these on her way to 5th place over 1700M on February 5th. That was her first start since August but she already has a runner-up finish to her name at this distance and should be a danger here. (1) ETERNAL MEMORY was further back in that same race but expect better dropped back to one turn. Even further back was (3) GEUMA SWIFT. The time before though he ran on well from the back over 1200M and can be given another chance today.

Selections(9) Ace Prince (5) Champion Gamun (6) Power Music (1) Eternal Memory
Next Best3, 12
Fast Start1, 5, 7, 9
(more…)

Eoma Eoma Super at Seoul but Blue Chipper Upset on Busan Return

Eoma Eoma began 2021 the way he left off in 2020 with an easy Class 1 win over 1400M at Seoul, but Blue Chipper could only manage 5th place in his long awaited return to action at Busan as Mr. Afleet took out the feature race on the south coast.

Seoul’s feature class 1 event was essentially a Group race run under handicap conditions over 1400M. With Morfhis having taken out the SBS Sports Sprint last summer as well as a pair of full prize-money class 1 races, his rating had risen to the extent that he had to carry 60kg as was giving away 8kg to all of his prominent rivals.

Morfhis was game coming through late as usual to finish in 4th place, but he was always going to struggle to catch Eoma Eoma who, under Moon Se Young, led from gate to wire to score by three-lengths from Do Kki Blade in 2nd and Jjang Kong in 3rd.

For Eoma Eoma it is now six wins from eight starts and punters and fans alike will be desperately hoping that circumstances will allow he and Morfhis – along with the likes of East Jet – to clash at level weights for a big prize at some point this year.

At Busan, Blue Chipper was making his return to racing for the first time since running 3rd in the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita.

It wasn’t to be for the now six-year-old who missed all of his five-year-old season after getting travel sickness on the way to the Dubai World Cup Carnival. Blue Chipper led out of the gate in the Mile-long Busan feature, which like the races at Seoul, was being contested for reduced prize-money, but started to tread water once they entered the home straight.

Mr. Afleet, trained by Peter Wolsley and ridden by Seo Seung-un, went on to win the race by four-lengths from Core Blade.

For Blue Chipper, who missed his planned final gallop earlier in the week due to heavy rain, a mile was always going to be a tough ask first up and so long as he pulls up without any issues, perhaps little should be read into his performance. There will hopefully be bigger things to come for him later in the year.

Seoul Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (February 5)

Blue Chipper will be going around at Busan on Friday but we’re turning our attention to Seoul which will be the location for the international simulcast this week and there are no fewer than 15 races from 10:00 to 17:00. The feature sees what is essentially a Group race run at handicap conditions when Morfhis renews hostilities with Eoma Eoma and Do Kki Blade over 1400M. Here are the previews:

Morfhis beat Do Kki Blade and Eoma Eoma in last summer’s SBS Sprint but Eoma Eoma now holds the 1400M track record and gets an 8kg handicap advantage on Friday

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

Three-year-old maidens here with only four of them having raced before. Of those four, (8) HOLIDAY CHARM ran 2nd on debut over this distance back on November 11th. He registered a creditable time and while it isn’t the most fashionable trainer/jockey combination and perhaps wants a bit further, he is probably worthy of being favourite today. (4) CUPID BULLET ran creditably enough for 5th place on debut at 1200M in December and can improve today while (7) TORUK MAKTO too did nothing wrong on her first try and she should be set to get much closer this time. Of the first timers, the most impressive in trials was (5) CHEONSANGSEONG, who won his heat three weeks ago in the kind of time that if replicated in this kind of race, would usually see him right in the mix. (6) DESK TAP, who came through the same trial, and (9) STAR CRAZY are others who can go well first up.

Selections(8) Holiday Charm (4) Cupid Bullet (5) Cheonsangseong (7) Toruk Makto
Next Best6, 9, 3
Fast Start3, 6, 7

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

(1) WINNER IS WELL struck on debut in December, coming from midfield to score at this distance in a time faster than any of the others here have achieved. He is a five-year-old so he is making up for lost time and he surely makes the most of getting a free hit in the shape of another crack at class 6 today. As for the rest of them, we’re looking for potential rather than achievement with not a single one of them having finished better than 6th. (4) BEST CHEONSANG led for much of the way around on her debut on December 19th before fading in the closing stages for 6th. She should have come on fitness wise for that run and can get closer today. (13) OLD SPECIAL debuted adequately all the way back last July. He’s not been seen since but trialed up in January looking well and should be a factor first up here. (5) ICE STAR and (6) GLOBAL CHEONSA have both been solid if unspectacular across two starts apiece and solid might be enough to get some money today.

Selections(1) Winner Is Well (13) Old Special (4) Best Cheonsang (6) Global Cheonsa
Next Best5, 3
Fast Start4, 13

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

It seems unlikely that this year’s Oaks winner will emerge from this very modest maiden for three-year-old fillies (6) DANCING WITH YOU has shown the most so far, leading for much of the way on debut before finishing 3rd, while racing just off the speed and ending up 4th on her second attempt with both races having been at today’s distance. She has a better draw today and every chance of making the breakthrough. (4) BORAQUEEN has improved across two starts so far, running 5th in her latest having expended up a bit of effort getting to the lead from a wide fate. She too is much better drawn today and can be a danger. Another couple of with seemingly the right trajectory are (2) LUCKY BALLY and (11) DAEJIUI YEOGEOL with both having shown improvement in their respective second outings. (10) K N MENIQUEEN will attract attention as Moon Se Young stays aboard. It is possible that he is simply maintaining relations with a top trainer but while his filly has finished well back in both starts so far, both have been tougher assignments than this and she has the fifth fastest time of the twelve who have raced at the distance already.

Selections(6) Dancing With You (4) Boraqueen (10) K N Meniqueen (2) Lucky Bally
Next Best11, 7
Fast Start4, 6

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

All fourteen tackle 1300M for the first time. We do have two last start winners though and it would be no surprise to see them competing for the win here, despite both having drawn wide. (12) HI HI is slightly favoured. A fast trial winner, he ran 3rd on debut before coming from midfield to comfortably score second up over this distance on December 19th in a decent time. A day later (13) STAR WARS made his own breakthrough. He led from gate to wire to win comfortably having run 2nd on debut. Another who improved on his second start is (14) TAP QUALITY. He is yet to win but ran a good 2nd on his latest outing and it was from the same outside gate that he has to deal with today. Plenty of others have hinted at ability too with (1) ADELE NARAE and (10) THE FIGHTING perhaps best placed to compete for the money here.

Selections(12) Hi Hi (13) Star Wars (14) Tap Quality (10) The Fighting
Next Best1, 3
Fast Start3, 6, 9, 13

Race 5: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

Fillies only here and (3) CHEONMA TODAY has the opportunity to do something that will hopefully never happen again and that’s win three races in class 6. She has won her latest two in fine fashion by seven and six lengths respectively. She, along with every other runner in the field, steps up to the distance for the first time and there is no reason why it can’t suit. It’s very competitive though. (1) YEONGGWANGUI MISO broke through at start number three on December 20th. She had two 3rd place finishes prior to that and should be on pace from the start here. (9) BLACK ROOKIE was a much improved 2nd on her second start on December 20th, beating a couple of the others who go here in the process. She ran through the line well and may like the additional furlong today. (7) FOREVER ONE and (11) RUBICON also come in off the back of a runner-up finish and have placing claims at least again. There is another previous winner in the field in the shape of (4) QUEEN OF BEST. She scored in a fast time over 1200M in October but was disappointing on her return in December. Up in trip she is worth another chance.

Selections(3) Cheonma Today (1) Yeonggwangui Miso (9) Black Rookie (4) Queen Of Best
Next Best7, 11, 2
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 7

Race 6: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 32 Million

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Busan Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 12)

The last three wagering places that were accepting customers for betting have had to close so with no wagering available in Korea and low Stakes prize-money, we are back to all three tracks running in Korea simultaneously behind-closed-doors just one day a week. That day this week is Saturday and the 12-race Busan card is available for overseas simulcasting so that’s the one we will focus on for our previews, however, there is one sensational race in prospect at Seoul so we’ll add a preview for that at the bottom too:

The racecourses will be deserted and running simultaneously on Saturday only

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

A juvenile maiden to kick things off at Busan with five of the fourteen racing for the first time. (5) HAPPY WOMAN started slowly but ran on for 4th on debut over 1000M on November 20th., registering a fast final furlong. She should have come on for that run and with an extra furlong to play with here, should have every chance. (2) B.J. KING debuted over this trip at the end of October running a somewhat one-paced 6th. Improvement seems on the cards here and he can go close. (10) BAEDARI ICON beat a couple of these on his way to 6th place on debut last month. He benefits again from a very light weight and also can appreciate the additional distance. Among the first-timers, the jockey/trainer combination for (9) GOSUUI POWER will tempt plenty. The colt offered few clues when 2nd in a November trial but looked competent enough. His dam won nine of fifteen races here. (1) WONDERFUL BOBCAT too acquitted himself well in his heat.

Selections(5) Happy Woman (2) B. J. King (9) Gosuui Power (10) Baedari Icon
Next Best1, 3, 6
Fast Start4, 6. 9, 14

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

More maidens and again there are five debut-makers. (13) RANK THE POWER breezed through a trial in mid-November (having missed the qualification time in October) in the kind of time that would see him win plenty of actual five furlong races. The wide draw may not be ideal but if he brings that form here, then he should win. (12) WORLD CHANGE and (14) YEONSEUNG BRAVO are two other first-timers who also suffer from somewhat dodgy draws but performed adequately in trials and can go well first up. As for the ones with prior racing experience, (10) YEONGGWANGUI SPEED has a 3rd and a 4th place finish among three outings so far. He hasn’t been exactly fast but won’t need to be in order to challenge for a place again. It’s a similar story with (5) TEAM SKY who today benefits from a good apprentice jockey taking some weight off. The fastest time of any of these at the distance so far was recorded by (6) GOLD LUCK when 5th on debut and he too can aim for the places here.

Selections(13) Rank The Power (10) Yeonggwangui Speed (5) Team Sky (12) World Change
Next Best14, 6
Fast Start3, 5, 6, 8, 13

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

It may be class 6 but there are two previous winners among the field in the shape of (3) FIRST WIND and (12) GOLD MAGIC and it would be no big surprise were either of them to strike again. That said, there are a few who are yet to score who should be firmly in the frame. They include (2) NEW LUX, who has been getting steadily closer over four outing so far. That culminated in a useful 2nd last start behind Good Socks and the filly has every chance of going one better today. (9) OMEGA GIRL beat a couple of these on her way to a career best 3rd place at this distance on November 8th and has every chance of building on that here while (10) JANGSAN PRIDE too improved significantly at his latest outing, running 2nd over 1300M.

Selections(2) New Lux (3) First Wind (12) Gold Magic (9) Omega Girl
Next Best10, 1
Fast Start3, 7, 14

Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

(4) CATCH THE VICTORY comes in having run 3rd and 2nd in his two starts so far. He was well beaten by a good winner last start but in coming 2nd recorded the fastest time of any of these at the distance and he is the slight pick to go one better here. (7) KING BID steps back up in trip today after a good 3rd over 1000M in November. Seo Seung-un takes over in the saddle and he is sure to have plenty of backers. (9) LUCKY MAGIC looks to finally be figuring things out having run a career best 3rd last time out. Her times haven’t been exactly quick but they she won’t need to be too fast to be in the mix today. There are two first-time starters and (2) SKY MORE looks a prospect. By Hansen and out of a Korean Oaks and SBS Cup winning mare, she ran 4th in her trial in a useful enough time and should go well first-up.

Selections(4) Catch The Victory (7) King Bid (2) Sky More (9) Lucky Magic
Next Best1, 6, 12
Fast Start1, 2, 7

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

A good little race this with plenty in the hunt. (6) TAKE INDY KING was an emphatic winner on debut on November 6th, running on strongly to score by four-lengths. Her is up in both class and in distance today but neither should be an issue and he can win again. So too can (9) TOP OF KOREA. He too is up in class following a win in late August. It came at this distance and if he can get on or close to the speed, he has a good chance of following up. (5) MR. FUSION has the best time of any of these at the distance and from a good draw is likely to be on speed from the start. He too races for the first time since August when he was beaten by (11) POWER GATE. Power Gate has raced twice since then and hasn’t been too far away. A host of others have placing chances with the wildcard being (1) QUEEN UP, who began her career in an ultra-consistent manner but hasn’t raced since January. She trialed up seemingly within herself a couple of weeks ago and could be a factor.

Selections(6) Take Indy King (9) Top Of Korea (5) Mr. Fusion (11) Power Gate
Next Best1, 2, 14
Fast Start5, 9, 11

Race 6: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 28 Million

A somewhat motley mixture of imports and locals ranging from juveniles to seven-year-olds line up here. The first California Chrome to race in Korea makes his debut. (5) BLUE CHAMP trialed nicely and in such a race has to go into contention. So too does another first-timer, (1) CLEAR. He ran 3rd in his trial in a decent enough time on a dry track and the Wolsley/Perovic combination will tempt plenty. As for the rest, (10) ECHO SUN looks the most convincing Although his best recent work has been over 1400M, he enters in good form and while the 57kg won’t help him, he looks to have solid claims. (13) DALGI was a very good winner over 1300M in August and while her performance over this distance at the end of October was slightly concerning, she is worth another chance in this company today. (8) HAPPY GATE has lost his way a touch in his latest two starts but may benefit from the drop back in trip and should be on pace from the start.

Selections(10) Echo Sun (1) Clear (13) Dalgi (5) Blue Champ
Next Best8, 9, 12
Fast Start8, 13

Race 7: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 28 Million

A very competitive race. (14) YEONGGWANGUI TIME was a class and distance winner on October 31st with a front-running performance and came home in a time faster than any of the others have achieved at the distance. He gets no penalty for that win and has every chance of repeating. What he does get though is a bad draw and it won’t be easy for him to get the run of the race this time. (11) TITLE CODE and (10) NICE ONE came home 2nd and 3rd when they raced each other at class and distance on November 6th. Both look in the hunt here and with a weight advantage this time, Nice One could well overturn that form. (7) LUCKY NUMBER ONE is a front-runner who drops back into trip and should be in the frame from a central draw. (2) HAPPY WITCH finds herself up in class after a win and two runner-up finishes in three outings to date. She is nicely drawn to get on the early speed and can be competitive. 

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Eoma Eoma Returns To Winner’s Circle With Track Record Setting Effort

Eoma Eoma was the star of Friday’s behind-closed-doors meeting at Seoul Racecourse, taking out the class 1 feature and in the process breaking the track record for 1400M,

They might only be racing for small stakes but for the second week running, the form mostly held up. Aside from Eoma Eoma, the shock Korean Oaks winner Uaryung (Testa Matta) showed that her win in Busan in August was no fluke by handily defeating a batch of class 4 gallopers while down at Busan, exciting juvenile Winner’s Man (Musket Man) moved on to three wins from three starts with an easy score over older horses, also at 1400M.

Eoma Eoma (Algorithms) didn’t debut until December of his juvenile season but won his first three races – either side of the first shutdown – in such style that he was allowed to take his chance in both the SBS Sports Sprint and Owners; Cups. He performed valiantly in both finishing 3rd and 2nd to Morfhis and East Jet respectively. Given his lack of experience those were a tough ask but he ran well both times and the manner of his win today, with Moon Se Young needing to do very little in the way of encouragement, suggests he will be the one they need to beat next season.

As it stands, there is a possibility that some spectators can be admitted to the racecourses next weekend, which would mean that racing would return to a more normal Friday to Sunday schedule. However, this morning’s Covid-19 figures showed 138 new local transmissions nationwide with 98 of them in Gyeonggi Province – in which Seoul Racecourse is located. If the numbers remain at that level or higher over the next few days, there is a chance the government may reinstate “Level 2” social distancing, which would in effect put everything back to square 1 and would mean these Friday “zombie meetings”, with no crowds and no betting and low Stakes, would have to continue.

Dia Road Dethrones Silver Wolf in Ttukseom While Alan Munro Lands 1st Korean Stakes Win on East Jet in SROA Trophy

Dia Road firmly established herself at the top of the filly and mare division by taking out the Ttukseom Cup (KOR G2) at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon and in doing so, beat perennial champion Silver Wolf for the second consecutive time. One race later, British jockey Alan Munro recorded his first Korean Stakes race victory when guiding East Jet to a smart victory in the Seoul Racehorse Owners’ Association (KOR G3).

Coming into the Ttukseom Cup, the first leg of the Queens’ Tour, Dia Road [Captain Coltish – Gieongnal Geunal (Menifee)] had won seven of her eight prior races, including that meeting with stablemate Silver Wolf in the Donga Ilbo Cup prior to the shutdown earlier this year when she had a 5kg weight advantage.

At level weights this time, Dia Road was slowly out of the gates but by the end of the back straight, jockey Kim Yong-geun had threaded a way through the field and was up just behind the leaders. She struck the front at the top of the home straight and powered away from the rest to record a six-length win from early pacesetter Raon First and closer Ice Marine. Silver Wolf, who took a long time to find space for a run, came home 5th.

If all goes to plan – and that is a big “if” with Korean racing in an uncertain position due to the recent COVID-19 resurgence, the four-year-old Dia Road and the eight-year-old Silver Wolf will most likely meet again in the final two legs of the Queens’ Tour – of which Silver Wolf is already a two-time winner – in the autumn.

The SROA Trophy (KOR G3) brought back together some of the nation’s top sprinters including the first five home in last month’s SBS Sports Sprint. Most pre-race attention focused on the young up and comer Eoma Eoma who after three straight wins, had suffered her first career defeat when a gutsy 3rd in the SBS Sports Sprint a month ago.

Despite a much better draw, this time Eoma Eoma had to settle for 2nd place as East Jet [Strike Again – Lend (Coronado’s Quest)], the only other three-year-old in the race, made short work of a wide draw to get right on pace with the leaders and then proved too strong in the straight, holding off Eoma Eoma by just under a length. SBS Sports Sprint winner Morfhis produced his customary late charge but had to settle for 3rd.

First Korean Stakes winner for Alan Munro (Pic:KRA)

East Jet was ridden by Alan Munro, who was recording his first Koream Stakes race victory. Munro, who only returned earlier this month from a broken wrist suffered prior to the KRA Cup Mile has now ridden 67 winners from 570 rides in the country since debuting in February 2019.