Round-Up: Blue Chipper & Tiz Plan Beaten, Jangsu Sales Results, 2020 Losses, Jeju Selections for Friday May 7

Both Blue Chipper and Tiz Plan met their matches at Busan and Seoul last weekend. While both were beaten by good horses, it was more the weight advantage they were giving away that saw the two (literal) heavyweights trail home 2nd in their respective features on Sunday.

With minimal income entering into the industry for more than a year now, there are currently no Listed or Stakes races races for the top horses to compete in. That means they need to take part in handicaps where they will, naturally be giving a lot of weight away. Blue Chipper conceded 9kg to the up and coming Doctor Carson (Hansen), who continued to burnish his reputation as he defeated the champion by a length over 1200M

It was a similar story at Seoul for Tiz Plan. He too was game but was unable to match the finish of Brigadier General (Tapit), an Australian-bred five-year-old, who came past him in the closing stages to score by three-quarters of a length. Both Blue Chipper and Tiz Plan received 2nd place prize money of 15 Million Won ((US$13,317), a far cry from what they would have expected to have been competing for in normal times.

The grim state of affairs was apparent Jangsu Breeze-up sale last week, one of the main Juvenile sales to take place on the mainland, where business was sluggish. Just thirteen of the fifty-three lots offered reached the minimum reserve price of 10 Million Won. Overall it was a slight improvement on last year but well down on the same sale two years ago in terms of numbers sold and in average price, with purchasers uncertain if and when their horses will ever be able to run.

The Testa Matta colt (Pic from screengrab of the sale feed)

The sale-topper was a colt by Testa Matta and out of the Giant’s Causeway mare Coulis De Fraises., bred by Nokwon Farm and bought for 60 Million Won by owner Park Cheol-geun. He fetched almost double the next best, an Old Fashioned filly out of Revereduction (by Revere).

Meanwhile, local media has been reporting that financial figures for Korean “Public” (i.e. government run) companies for 2020 are out and they are, to put it mildly, not good. The Korea Racing Authority swung from a 144.9 Billion Won (US$128.8 Million) profit in 2019 to a 436.8 Billion Korean (US$338.3 Million) loss in 2020 caused by a total collapse in wagering revenue after February. The loss surpassed that even of the Incheon Airport Corporation whose own Covid crisis saw a loss of 423 Billion Won last year.

Racing has been kept going at reduced prize money levels by using “Emergency Reserve” funds, However, local media has reported that these will be finally exhausted in July. Barring something unexpected happening, there seems little prospect on restrictions on attendance at the racecourses and off track betting sites being lifted to an extent that would allow a break-even point to be reached any time soon so it appears the only hope of saving the industry in any recognizable form lies in the legalization of online sales of betting tickets.

Racing continues though so let’s turn attention to the weekend where we will have the same schedule as recent weeks. Jeju will run a pony race meeting on Friday while Seoul and Busan will run thoroughbred-meets on both Saturday and Sunday. The only betting outlets open will be those in Jeju, Daegu, Gwangju, Changwon and Cheonan (advance reservation by My Card app required). Here are some selections for Friday’s Jeju Pony meeting:

Race 1: 7, 6, 2, 8

Race 2: 3, 8, 1, 4

Race 3: 5, 3, 9, 10

Race 4: 9, 6, 2, 4

Race 5: 8, 4, 7, 6

Race 6: 7, 2, 3, 9

Race 7: 7, 1, 12, 8

Race 8: 2, 11, 4, 8

Race 9: 7, 3, 8, 5

Race 10: 12, 3, 9, 2

Race 11: 12, 2, 3, 5

Race 12: 7, 1, 10, 9

Jeju Friday Selections (April 23)

We’ve got through to the end of another month avoiding another potentially ruinous shutdown. Anything could happen in May. For now though, there is pony racing on Jeju Island on Friday while the thoroughbreds will run at Busan and Seoul on both Saturday and Sunday. While all betting facilities remain closed to the public in the Seoul and Busan areas, they are open in Jeju, Daegu, Gwangju, Changwon and Cheonan. Here are selections for Jeju’s Friday card:

Race 1: 2, 6, 9, 1

Race 2: 3, 9, 1, 4

Race 3: 6, 10, 9, 1

Race 4: 9, 2, 1, 3

Race 5: 8, 6, 7, 4

Race 6: 1, 8, 2, 10

Race 7: 9, 1, 7, 12

Race 8: 2, 7, 1, 3

Race 9: 5, 9, 6, 7

Race 10: 8, 2, 10, 1

Race 11: 7, 12, 2, 3

Race 12: 9, 2, 8, 7

Jeju Friday Selections (April 16)

With COVID-19 cases in Korea remaining stubbornly high and, according to local media, a further rise in the offing, there is no sign on restrictions being loosened any time soon. Fortunately, neither have they been tightened so we have another weekend of racing at Jeju on Friday with Seoul and Busan both running on Saturday and Sunday. The only places which will be open to customers on the three days are the Jeju Racecourse plus the OTBs in Daegu, Gwangju and Cheonan. Here are Jeju selections for Friday:

Race 1: 4, 3, 5, 1

Race 2: 4, 6, 2, 1

Race 3: 2, 5, 8, 9

Race 4: 9, 6, 8, 3

Race 5: 2, 5, 3, 6

Race 6: 9, 4, 7, 10

Race 7: 12, 7, 5, 10

Race 8: 5, 10, 12, 4

Race 9: 2, 10, 7, 3

Race 10: 12, 2, 4, 6

Race 11: 2, 7, 5, 10

Race 12: 2, 1, 10, 3

Jeju Friday Selections (April 9)

With Korea gradually losing control of the Covid situation, as case numbers rise and the glacial vaccination roll-out doesn’t, it is possible that racing will face more restrictions as soon as next week. Fingers crossed there won’t be and in any case, this weekend is set to be unaffected with betting still able to take place on Jeju Island and, at the time of writing at least, in Daegu and Gwangju. There will be pony racing on Friday while Seoul and Busan will both hold thoroughbred cards behind closed doors on Saturday and Sunday.

Here are the selections for the Friday pony racing card on Jeju (where only 5 Covid cases were reported int he last 24 hours):

Race 1: 5, 1, 9, 6

Race 2: 3, 4, 1, 8

Race 3: 2, 1, 5, 7

Race 4: 8, 9, 6, 5

Race 5: 9, 10, 5, 6

Race 6: 6, 10, 7, 8

Race 7: 4, 7, 3, 10

Race 8: 6, 11, 4, 1

Race 9: 8, 5, 1, 3

Race 10: 1, 5, 12, 6

Race 11: 8, 5, 3, 1

Race 12: 4, 8, 1, 9

In other news, Dolkong trialed up at Seoul last weekend for the second time since returning from injury. Under Antonio Da Silva he cruised around for an unhurried 4th place in his heat:

Jeju Friday Selections: April 2

While hardly anyone is either going to see it, let alone be allowed to bet on it, it is at least the only meeting of the weekend which will have punters in attendance, so here are some darts tossed in the direction of the Jeju Pony Racing on Friday when there are 12 races from 13:00 to 18:00.

Race 1: 6, 8, 10, 2

Race 2: 9, 5, 4, 6

Race 3: 4, 1, 6, 5

Race 4: 8, 3, 9, 1

Race 5: 3, 8, 4, 9

Race 6: 8, 4, 1, 6

Race 7: 9, 4, 7, 10

Race 8: 3, 6, 7, 1

Race 9: 7, 5, 3, 9

Race 10: 8, 1, 7, 5

Race 11: 12, 2, 1, 3

Race 12: 5, 7, 5, 6

Spectators Shut-Out of Busan Again, Daejeon OCB Permanently Closed – Walker Hill To Follow

Busan Racecourse will not be allowed to admit customers from this weekend as the city has raised its social distancing level to 2 from this Friday. Under level 2, sports venues are allowed to admit 10% of their seated capacity, however, just as in Seoul which has been at this level since the start of the year, the racecourse and the two off-course betting centres in the city, must close their doors completely. No coronavirus outbreaks had been linked to the track or OCBs since they reopened at 20% of seated capacity in February. Customers may attend the Jeju pony races on Friday but the Seoul and Busan meetings on Saturday and Sunday at both tracks will be behind closed doors.

The blow is compounded by the fact Daejeon Off-Track-Betting Centre closed for the final time last Sunday after twenty-one years of operation. The long planned closure had first been announced in 2017 after political pressure. With all branches in the Greater Seoul area currently closed due to Covid-19 restrictions, it leaves only Jeju Racecourse along with the branches in Daegu, Cheonan and Gwangju open for betting.

Local media reported that in addition to the closure Daejeon authorities had requested that the KRA, which owns the twelve-storey building in the city’s Seo-gu district, donate it to the City in order to make amends for the supposed damage that the presence of an off-track betting centre had caused its people over the years. According to media reports, local politicians and residents associations say that the educational and residential environment in the district had deteriorated because of legal betting taking place.

The KRA declined the request, citing the financial crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the building will now be put up for sale through the state-run Korea Asset Management Corporation. Prior to 2020, the site generated an estimated KRW 20 Billion in local taxes for the city of Daejeon annually.

One solution to this problem, which is repeating itself up and down the country wherever there is an off-track centre, would be the legalization of online betting. Representative Yoon Jae-gap, a Democratic Party National Assembly member initiated a bill last year to legalize the sale of betting tickets online. In publishing figures last week showing that the KRA made a KRW 438.1 Billion loss in 2020, Rep. Yoon said that he believed the “countdown to the collapse of the industry has begun” with emergency funds set to be exhausted by the middle of the year.

The Daily Hankook Newspaper reported an official at the Ministry of Agriculture, under whose jurisdiction the KRA and racing falls, as saying that the Ministry recognized that in the long term the legalization of online betting may be necessary but that it would be difficult in the absence of a national social consensus and that any legislation shouldn’t be rushed. The online sale of lottery tickets has been legal since 2018.

In semi-related news the saga of foreign punting groups apparently winning too much in the local Korean pools has come up again. The Chosun Ilbo reports that on March 30th, the Board of Audit and Inspection found that in 2019, the win rate of foreign customers was significantly higher than that of Korean nationals. The Board noted that 89% of betting tickets purchased by foreigners were issued in the final five minutes of betting compared to 74% of purchases by Korean customers.

This was, the report says, made possible by being able to get bets on in large volumes as late as possible (the maximum per ticket bet is 100,000 – US$88 – and it is difficult for Korean punters to get on more than that per race). Accordingly, foreign punters’ dividend rate on 2019 was 121% of their investment compared with 72% for Koreans.

The “foreigner only” off-track-betting location at Walker Hill in Seoul, where the majority of the betting analysed by the Board of Audit and Inspection took place, has been closed since the start of the pandemic and will not reopen with the lease expiring within the next month and notice having been given.

Jeju Friday Selections (March 19)

Conditions remain unchanged in Korea which means that despite sports such as football and basketball (the latter indoor) being permitted to have 10% capacity attendance in the Greater Seoul area and bars and restaurants being packed with maskless customers, racing remains unable to open its doors to long suffering punters in the most populous part of the country. However, the Busan and Jeju Racecourses along with OTBs in Busan (both of them), Changwon, Daegu, Daejeon, Gwangju and Cheonan will be open at 20% of indoor seated capacity. There is racing at Jeju on Friday, Busan on Saturday and Seoul on Sunday. Jeju gets things underway with an 11-race Friday pony card running from 13:30 to 18:00. Here are selections for that meeting:

Race 1: (6) MYEONGSEONGGISANG is a winner already and neat three of these last start when recording the fastest time in the field at today’s distance. (10) GANGHANNEUNGRYEOK should pose a stiff challenge having run a good 2nd on debut a month ago and has plenty of scope to improve. Selections: 6, 10, 5, 4

Race 2: (2) DALUIJUNSA has run consistently fast times and is one of two who look ready to win here. He is marginally favoured to see off (7) CHOIGODAEJANG who has been getting closer across three starts so far/ Selections: 2, 7, 9, 1

Race 3: (8) MYEONGGAUIHIM will be a strong favourite here with a win and two runner-up finishes from efforts to date. He beat three of these last time and has the fastest times in the field. (7) KWANGAUICHAMP was 4th behind Myeonggauihim last start and also has win. He’ll be on pace and goes close. Selections: 8, 7, 9, 4

Race 4: (7) GANGNAMUIBIT and (9) KWANGAUIMANRI both seek maiden wins but have finished in front of one another in their latest two starts. They look set to contest the finish again here, this time for top honours. Watch the market for clues to (8) EKUSEU though. He trialed well : Selections: 7, 8, 6, 8

Race 5: A class and distance winner two starts back and then a good 2nd over 1000M last time out, the consistent (1) OLLEYOJOENG is the one to beat here. (2) DANGDAENURI was a last start winner class and distance winner and will be on pace from the start with claims to go close again. Selections: 1, 2, 6, 3

Race 6: (4) JEONGSEOKDAERO has won three in a row. He steps up in trip and carries significantly more weight but should be too good again. (6) DAESANGGUN, a smart gate to wire winner over 800M last time looks to have the best chance of stopping him. Selections: 4, 6, 1, 10

Race 7: (6) HANBAEHWANGCHO has beaten plenty of these across her latest two outings and is capable of fast times. The weights are against her here but she has strong claims again. (10) BONSEONGJARANG comes in after good efforts in arguably stronger company and can be a danger. Selections: 6, 10, 8, 11

Race 8: A winner of six from eight so far (9) SONGGONGGIWON doesn’t get the benefit of quite as light a weight as he has of late but is still strongly favoured to score again.(2) GEOSEOGAN and (8) NOKWONJEIL have the best chance of pulling off an upset. Selections: 9, 8, 2, 4

Race 9: (2) TYSON ran 4th last start but beat several of these in process and the veteran should return to winning ways here. (3) HOSEUNGGOEUL has been beaten by Tyson in each of his latest two but looks the most credible danger. Selections: 2, 3, 8, 11

Race 10: The very experienced (10) BAEGYAHAENG has won his latest four. He comes down in the weights and his quality may see him through again. (1) BAEKROKJANGWON has shown he has the beating of most of these in recent starts and will be there or thereabouts again. Selections: 10, 1, 3, 4

Race 11: (1) BAEKROKCHEONJI beat plenty of these on her way to winning at class and distance in December. She comes in fresh and can score again. (9) BICHUIYEONGGWANG comes in off three consecutive runner-up finishes and can go close again. Selections: 1, 9, 2, 3

Jeju Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (March 12)

This weekend’s racing in Korea will follow the same pattern as the past few weeks with Jeju running on Friday, Busan n Saturday and Seoul on Sunday. The Jeju and Busan Racecourses will be open to customers at 20% of indoor seating capacity as will the Off Track Betting centres in Busan (both of them), Daegu, Changwon, Daejeon, Gwangju and Cheonan. Seoul Racecourse and all off-track locations in Seoul and Gyeonggi Province will remain closed. Here are the previews for Jeju’s Friday card which involves 10 races from 13:30 to 18:00:

Race 1: Class 6 (800M) Allowance / KRW 9 Million

1CHOEGOSAYANG – First time starter. Trialed well enough but a watching brief is advised first up.
2KKUMUIGEURIN – Beaten by three of these when 7th at this trip on January 29th. That equaled his best finish to date. Has run good times though and can get closer today.
3ABEURAM – Beta three of these when 5th behind Gwanghaejeonseol on January 29th. That was a big improvement and he can aim to match it today.
4HANBYEOLLARA –Disappointing last of ten behind four of these on January 29th having led early. Well drawn again but likely to weaken late on.
5YEOKDAEJEIL – First-time starter. Ran well in his trial for a fast time and looks right in this first-up. A chance.
6GWANGHAEJEONSEOL – The best of those who went on the January 29th race, finishing in 4th place. That was a big uptick in form for him and his best result to date. Under the same conditions today, he can go close once more.
7CHEONGNYONGSINHWA – The likely favourite. He has by far the quickest time of any of these at the distance and is the only one to have a runner-up finish to his name. He’ll come from just off the pace and can win here.
8CHEONGUNDAE – First-time starter. Trialed up behind Choegosayang and we’ll just watch today.
9NAEONEUTTEUM – 6th in the January 29th race behind Gwanghaejeonseol. That was first-up six months on from his debut. Likely to be on pace and has each-way chances.
10WHANGGUEMYEOLCHA – Last of ten on debut back in October. Not seen since and will likely need this.
Selections(7) Cheongnyongsinhwa (6) Gwanghaejeonseol (5) Yeokdaejeil (9) Naeoneutteum
Next Best2, 3
Fast Start4, 7, 9

Race 2: Class 6 (800M) Allowance / KRW 9 Million

1MYEONGGAUIHIM – A winner on debut last August, he has followed up with back to back runner-up finishes beating four of his rivals here last start on January 22nd. He holds the fastest time in the field at the distance and with only 1kg extra to carry today, is the hot favourite to win.
2GYEONGCHEONG – 6th last start behind three of these including Myeonggauihim. Yet to win in twelve but has three top-three finishes and the second fastest time. Placing chances.
3MISOJEOLLYAK – 5th behind Myeonggauihim last start continuing a consistent run of form that has seen him miss the top five only once. Should be close again. Place chance.
4ILSONGJEONGGI – An all the way winner over the distance last November, she was slightly disappointing when 7th on reappearance in January. Top jockey returns to the mount and she’s well drawn to lead. Place chance.
5BAMAKJEONGGI – Yet to finish any better than 3rd in fourteen attempts but he has achieved that on four occasions including his last start. Times have been consistently not good enough to suggest competitive here though.
6NAKCHEONMULGYEOL – A winner at the distance last July but he hasn’t looked like following up in three outings since. Obviously some ability but times not convincing.
7HWANGGEUMMUNMYEONG – A winner over the distance in a fast time last July. She’s struggled in five attempts since though with a best of 5th. 5th would be a realistic target today.
8KWANGAUICHAMP – Won at start number two last July and then returned after six months off to run a good 4th behind Myeonggauihim in January. Likely to be on pace and strong place claims.
9HALLASANGBONG – Yet to win but decent minor money record. 9th behind Myeonggauihim last start and lots of form to overturn here.
10DEOMJANGPAWO – Interrupted career so far with three starts spread over thirteen months. Managed to win at start two last July but struggled on return in January. Watching brief today.
Selections(1) Myeonggauihim (4) Ilsongjeonggi (8) Kwangauichamp (3) Misojeollyak
Next Best2, 7
Fast Start1, 4, 8, 10

Race 3: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 12 Million

1DALBICHYOJEONG – Decent enough 5th of ten at class and distance last start. One of only four who have raced at 1000M previously. Will need to be quicker here though.
2SURYUHWAGAE – Beat two of these on her way to 4th place at class and distance which is enough to bring her into each-way contention today. Yet to win in twenty-to starts but has nine top-three finishes.
3CHOESANGWI – A winner on debut, he’s been knocking on the door since without threatening a repeat. Generally finishes between 4th and 7th and that seems the most likely outcome today.
4HARRYKING – A long time since his solitary victory but he does know how to pick up a minor check. Could sneak into 4th or 5th here.
5CHEONGMACHAEMPEU – Still a maiden but has finished top five on nine of twelve occasions. Good 3rd over 800M running on strong and looks an each-way contender here.
6SAMHWANGOJE – A winner on debut, he’s followed up with two runner-up finishes and 4th since. A front-runner, he steps up to 1000M for the first time and has solid claims. A real chance.
7JEONGSEOKDAERO – The likely favourite coming in off the back of three consecutive wins. In non-Covid times he would be up in class but instead just has 4.5kg extra to carry today. The weight and tackling the distance for the first time are perhaps the only questions but he can make it four in a row.
8HIMCHANJILJU – Began his career well before losing his way slightly. Decent 5th last start suggests he may be back on track but he won’t be among the favourites here.
9JAGEUNHYANGGI – Very competitive over 800M at class 6 picking up a win and a handful of place finishes. Struggled on first go at 900M and class 5 last start though. Even further and tougher competition today.
10HANBAEKMUJEOK – Has the fastest time of any of these at the distance and was a winner over 900M just two starts back. Well back behind Suryuhwagae last start though and others favoured here.
Selections(6) Samhwangoje (7) Jeongseokdaero (5) Cheongmachaempeu (2) Suryuhwagae
Next Best4, 10
Fast Start3, 4, 5, 6

Race 4: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 12 Million

1LYCAN – Last made the placings last August and recent form cold. Should get close to the early speed this time but others favoured.
2MINYEONGSINHWA – A class 6 winner over 800M last August but has been soundly beaten in three starts at this class since. All three times behind one of today’s rivals.
3OLLEYOJEONG – Clear favourite and possibly odds-on. Only finished outside the top three once and comes in after a very close 2nd at class and distance on January 22nd. Carries an extra 2kg today but should be on pace from the start and lead all the way around
4EUTTEUMKKUM – 2nd to Olleyojeong in December and beat him prior to that. While ordinary at this distance on reappearance in January, did beat a couple of these. Place line today.
5BAEKDUSESANG – Up in class and distance following a win over 800M in January. Form had been up and down prior to that but she ran on well that day and some minor money here is not impossible.
6BAEKJEOMYEOWANG – Has some good performances at this distance but most were some time ago. Managed a 4th over 800M two starts back but struggled last time out.
7DONGBANGJEONSEOL – Won at this class over 900M last August and comes in with recent form reading well. 3rd behind Olleyojeong last start and a likely the main danger here.
8GEUMBITMORAE – Returned from an eighteen-month hiatus to run a strong 4th of ten at 900M in January and has fast times at today’s distance in his record. Place chance.
9BAEKDUGOEUL – Class 6 winner at 800M in November but well back behind Olleyojeong and Eutteumkkum on first try at this class. Minor money chance here.
10BIBAAKSENTEU – Fastest time of any of these at the distance but recent form has been indifferent and others are favoured today.
Selections(3) Olleyojeong (4) Eutteumkkum (7) Dongbangjeonseol (9) Baekdugoeul
Next Best8, 5
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 8

Jeju Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (March 5)

COVID-19 restrictions in Korea remain unchanged which means that this weekend’s racing will follow the same pattern as last week’s. There will be pony racing at Jeju on Friday, with thoroughbreds at Busan on Saturday and Seoul on Sunday. The Seoul meeting will be behind closed doors and all betting locations within the Greater Seoul area remain closed. However, Busan Racecourse and Jeju Racecourse may admit customers along with off-course betting locations in Busan, Changwon, Daegu, Gwangju, Daejeon and Cheonan. Attendance at these locations is capped at 20% of indoor seated capacity and must be booked in advance using the “MyCard” app. Jeju kicks things off on Friday with a 10-race card from 13:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Friday is pony day at the moment

Race 1: Class 6 (800M) Allowance / KRW 9 Million

1BLACKCHAMP – Ran once last August without distinction. Not impressed in two subsequent trials. Outsider here.
2CHUNJESEON – Went through two trials and was a close at hand 4th in a fast time having led in the most recent. Top jockey remains aboard and a good draw to get forward again. One of the favourites.
3JANGBACKCHEONJU – Did little in two starts last year but looked a bit more promising in a useful trial performance in February. Not among the favourites but can improve.
4SINSAETBYEOL – Offered little in two outings so far, well back both times. Significant improvement needed to challenge here.
5DAEBYEORWANG – Mixed his form with a 2nd and a couple of 3rds mixed in with some poorer efforts. Has the fastest time of any of these at the distance. Others favoured but keep safe in the exotics.
6DANGDAEHAN – Has run some consistently good times over his five starts so far despite not getting any closer than 3rd. Comes from off the pace and should be in the placing mix again.
7ILSAMANRI – Ran 2nd on debut to Bongseondaero having been bested by him previously in a trial. Didn’t get the smoothest of trips and should be challenging to overturn the form here.
8WOORISIDAE – Creditable showings in all three starts so far. Should be knocking on the door of the palces again.
9BONGSEONGDAERO – A winner on debut beating Ilsanmari. Had things his own way that day drawing the inside gate and staying on the rail so today may not be so easy but he looks to have more in the tank and every chance of winning again.
10JEONGUISESANG – Just the one start and it was over a year ago. Trialed up well enough last weekend but a watching brief is advised first up today.
Selections(9) Bongseongdaero (7) Ilsamanri (2) Chunjeseon (6) Dangdaehan
Next Best5, 8
Fast Start2, 6, 7, 8

Race 2: Class 6 (800M) Allowance / KRW 9 Million

1JEWANGUIBOBAE – Made the breakthrough at start number five on January 15th and it had been coming. A front-runner, she’s drawn beautifully to have the run of the race again and it would be a surprise if she didn’t back up here with another win.
2JINGYEOGUIHIM – Did little on debut but improved to run 3rd to Jewanguibobae on his second start on January 15th. Has a full twelve lengths to overturn though and looks more a place chance again.
3KKUMUISEONMUL – Best of 5th from three outings to date. Should be on pace from a good draw but will need to improve to place.
4JEGURYEOK – Started slowly on debut but passed a few late on to run 7th of 10. Watching brief again today though.
5BIGSTONE – The solitary debut-maker, he impressed in his trial, running 3rd in a good time. Looks nicely in first-up with at least minor money claims.
6BALSAENERGY – Yet to finish better than 5th from seven starts. That was on his latest but expect to find a few too quick again.
7MIRAEYEOWANG – A front-running winner on a muddy track on debut on January 22nd. It was a solid time and she beat a number of these in the process. Will need to improve to beat the favourite but should go close.
8KKUMUIHWANGJE – 3rd on debut is her best to date and comes in having been a slightly disappointing 8th behind Miraeyeowang last start. Capable of running a time so a potential place line here.
9KWAESEUNGMIDEUM – Well back behind Jewanguibobae last start, she’s gone ok in three starts so far without looking like breaking through. Minor money at best.
10YONGUINALGAE – Best of 3rd was achieved last August but form has been drifting since then. Well back behind Miraeyeowang last start.
Selections(1) Jewanguibobae (7) Miraeyeowang (5) Bigstone (2) Jingyeoguihim
Next Best8, 6
Fast Start1, 6, 7, 8

Race 3: Class 6 (800M) Allowance / KRW 9 Million

1WOODOQUEEN – First time starter who went through two trials, looking very good in the second of them. Should be on pace from a great draw and should go close.
2EUNDUNGOSU – Yet to finish any better than 4th in five starts. Tended to be a bot one paced and minor money looks the best chance here.
3MISOGONGJU – Latest two efforts haven’t been great but she has ability and has the fastest time of any of these at the distance to her name. Place line.
4SHINGEOM – had a hard time first-up after five months off but has shown ability in the past and may improve here. Placing chances.
5TAMRAJEGUK – Ran 7th of ten on debut beating Shingeom. Solid base to build on but will need to improve to figure.
6CHEONGMABOBAE – Best finish of 2nd was all the way back last summer. Consistent but perhaps not quick enough to threaten here.
7JEJUYEONGUNG – Beat three of these when 4th at this distance on January 15th. That was his best finish so far and he will need to improve here. Place chances.
8UNGJINCHAEMPEU – First time starter. Won a trial in impressive fashion in early February before another solid showing later in the month. Looks nicely in on debut here and can go close.
9REONG – 8th on debut before being beaten by a couple of these when 6th on his latest start. Plenty to find today.
10BOLTMIIN – A warm favourite. She led almost gate to wire being taken down close to home by Miraeyeowang on January 22nd. Similar performance today in weaker company and she should win.

Jeju Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (February 26)

Just like last week, the three Korean tracks will take it in turns to race this weekend with Jeju on Friday, Busan on Saturday and Seoul on Sunday. Racecourses and OTB’s in the south of the country will be open to spectators with advance reservations (made through the MyCard app) at 20% of the indoor seated capacity. The open locations are Jeju Racecourse and Busan Racecourse as well as the off-track betting centres in Busan (both of them), Changwon, Daegu, Daejeon, Gwangju and Cheonan. Seoul’s Sunday meeting will be behind closed doors and all betting locations in the Greater Seoul area remain closed. Jeju kicks things off with a 10-race pony meting on Friday. Here is the preview for those so-inclined:

Jeju Ponis kick off the weekend’s action on Friday (Pic: KRA)

Race 1: Class 6 (800M) Allowance / KRW 9 Million

1YANGDAEBAK – Offered little in three starts so far. Big outsider.
2EOLLUKBOBAE – Began career well with 2nd and a 3rd. Need to forgive latest outing on a muddy track and down in weights he can be a place chance here.
3TEAYANGSINGONG – 2nd and 5th in two starts so far and beaten by the two favourites here. Decent speed and placing chances.
4NAEONYEOSIN – 2nd on debut before winning on January 15th beating three of these in the process. His times haven’t been that special but he is clear 2nd favourite here.
5SANGGODAE – A long last on debut and. Any improvement today a plus.
6BONGSEONGYEOJE – Offered little in two starts to date.
7OHRAYEOGEOL – Won her first two outings very smartly indeed before narrowly failing to complete a hat-trick when 2nd last start. Has run consistently fast times and should lead gate to wire here. Strong favourite.
8TEUKBYEOLSUSADAE – Best finish of 8th was on debut and little to recommend today.
9BIYANG – Solitary debut-maker, looked competent when trialing and could be in the placing mix first up here.
10BONGGAEJARANG – Improved across three starts so far and was 3rd behind Naenyeoshin on January 15th. Wide draw not a problem and placing chances again.
Selections(7) Ohrayeogeol (4) Naeonyeosin (2) Eollukbobae (9) Biyang
Next Best3, 10
Fast Start4, 7

Race 2: Class 6 (800M) Allowance / KRW 9 Million

1DUMOAK – Consistent over five starts so far finishing 3rd to 5th and running into a couple too quick each time. Similar today.
2JAGEUNBYEOL – Good winner over the distance on January 12th making all. Well drawn to lead again and while this is tougher, she’s firmly in the hunt again.
3NAKCHEONGISANG – Best finish was a 5th in debut. Yet to show she is capable of running the kind of time that can trouble the scorers.
4JANGGUNDAEJWA – Best finish of 5th. Has tended to get a bit too far back in races. 5th would be a realistic aim here.
5MYUNGINHWANGJAE – First time starter who trialed up ok. Others favoured but no reason she can’t go well.
6SARAGONGJU – Promising 5th on debut at this distance last November. Can match or build on that here.
7CHACALL – 5th and a 9th from two starts so far. Well back behind the winner on both occasions and not among the favourites here.
8EUTTEUMYEONGWUNG – First-time starter. Looked well in his trial and with an in-form jockey aboard, is sure to have plenty of backers first-up. Place chance.
9IMMYEONGJANG – 2nd and 3rd in her first two starts she blotted her copybook somewhat with a poor effort in January on a sloppy track. Worth another chance today but only for a place.
10MYUNGSEONGYEOGEOL – The likely favourite. She has a win and a 2nd from two starts and the fastest time among these. Front-runner, if she crosses the field to lead, she will be hard to beat.
Selections(10) Myungseongyeogeol (2) Jageunbyeol (1) Dumoak (8) Eutteumyeongwung
Next Best9, 6
Fast Start2, 10

Race 3: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 12 Million

1JUNGMUNSINHWA – Recent form has been consistent. Settles midfield and runs on well with a place a realistic target here.
2CHUGYEOKJEON – Ran 2nd to Nokwonjeil in December before beating three of these on his way to 3rd over this distance last start. Yet to win in twenty-three attempts a place looks more realistic again.
3HWANGGEUMJEGUK – Got his maiden win at start thirty-one in December before running 4th behind Chugyeokjeon last month. Outside chance of placing.
4SEOBUPYEONGJEONG – Found himself overmatched but not disgraced when 9th of 12 in Stakes company last time. He has the fastest time at the distance and is the highest rate. Giving weight away but his class may see him through. Big chance.
5GANGNAMJAEBEOL – Still lightly races, she should benefit from returning to the distance at which she recorded her only win to date. Others may be favoured but can go well.
6BIRYONGGISANG – 4th in each of her latest three outings, all of them at 800M. This looks a tougher ask and she’d do very well to match those finishes today.
7GOSUCHEONHA – Beaten by plenty of these in recent outings and while he occasionally snatches a money finish, he has plenty of form to overturn today.
8SINHEUNGYEOSIN – Class and distance winner last start, he can mix his form but while he is up in weights and this is a tougher race, he should be in the hunt again.
9NOKWONJEIL – A win and two runner-up finishes from his last three. He steps up an additional half furlong today but he should be able to cope with that. A real chance.
10YONGSEOLLAN – Super experienced and along with Sinheungyeosin, is the only one to have won at this distance. Not too far away in recent outings but others surely favoured.
Selections(9) Nokwonjeil (4) Seobupyeonjeong (8) Sinheungyeosin (2) Chugyeokjeon
Next Best1, 5
Fast Start