Jo In-kwon

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (January 7)

The capital kicks off its 2023 season on Saturday with a bumper 12-race card. Note the 1st race is five minutes earlier than usual so the races are from 10:40 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Jo In-kwon, who won the Minister’s Cup on Captain Yankee, returns full time to Seoul this weekend (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens in the opener and quite a few have already shown some promise. (6) ARGO RICH will be favourite, having run 4th on debut over 1000M in October before improving the 2nd when stepped up to 1200M on November 19th when on pace throughout. The additional half furlong can suit, and he can win here. (1) SAENAE KHAN beat Argo Rich when they pair debuted in the same October race before running 4th over the same distance at start number two. He comes up in distance for the first time but draws well and can be a danger here. In turn, (2) HANGANG POWER beat Saenae Khan when they raced one another on December 4th. That was a big improvement on his first two efforts, and he can continue that momentum today. (10) NONSTOP THUNDER and (9) UPTOWN WHIZ are others to take into account.

Selections(6) Argo Rich (1) Saenae Khan (2) Hangang Power (10) Nonstop Thunder
Next Best9, 12
Fast Start1, 3, 7, 9

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

Maiden three-year-old fillies with half the field having run once and half the field non having run at all. (6) ÉCLAIR STAR drew the widest gate on debut and then slightly fly-jumped as the gates opened and then went wider. The jockey calmly took her across to the fence where she proceeded to run on well for 3rd. She draws better today and could well win. Favourite status will probably belong to (3) CANDY GLOW. She ran 7th of twelve on debut in a fair time over the 1000M, beaten by Hangang Power and Saenae Khan from race 1. She should have come on for the run and Moon Se-young remaining aboard will be enough for plenty. Of the newcomers, (9) DANDI looks the best. She went through a fast trial, crossing the line 4th behind a couple of very established racehorses. If she can bring that form to the track, she may have a chance of emulating her namesake at Busan from the early 2000s. (1) LADY TAEPUNG came through the same trial in good fashion and along with (5) WALGADAK, is another to consider.

Selections(6) Éclair Star (3) Candy Glow (9) Dandi (1) Lady Taepung
Next Best5, 10
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 9

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three races into 2023 and Moon Se-young will probably have been on the favourite in all of them. Here it’s (2) ARGO TAP, who has shown good consistency over his five starts to date. He hasn’t been especially quick, but he draws nicely to get on pace and dictate, and they may not get past him. (10) SSING SSING SSING was a big improver at start number three over this distance on November 27th when settling handy and running on well stopping the clock in a time faster than any of today’s rivals have manages. He doesn’t draw as favourably today but shapes as the main danger to the favourite. (4) GANGHAN QUEEN has been up and down across three starts so far but looks sure to be on the pace here and in this a long way, while (9) GOLD MIGHTY comes up in trip following a solid second effort over 1000M. (5) DREAM SKY had a hard time in the Munhwa Ilbo Trophy before running out on the turn on her reappearance. She had shown ability to that prior and has recently trialled well enough. If she takes the corner properly, she may have a chance at a decent price.

Selections(2) Argo Tap (10) Ssing Ssing Ssing (4) Ganghan Queen (9) Gold Mighty
Next Best5, 7
Fast Start1, 2, 4, 5

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Plenty of these raced against each other over this distance on November 26th and it was (4) DAECHEON CHAMP who came out the best, settling midfield and coming home in 2nd place. That was by far her best showing to date and on her third try at the trip, she can get her maiden win. One at odds could be (12) WONPYEONG BIRD. He comes in off his best finish to date, a 3rd over 1200M on December 3rd and while he takes a big step up in trip, it may well suit. (11) BAEDARI GONGJU too comes up in trip. She has settled back and finished strongly over the shorter courses so is another who may enjoy the chance to stretch out a bit. (6) NEOREUL EONGWONHAE and (10) ZEROBAEK FIVE, both behind Daecheon Champ in that November 26th race, are others in the frame.

Selections(4) Daecheon Champ (12) Wonpyeong Bird (11) Baedari Gongju (6) Neoreul Eongwonhae
Next Best10, 2
Fast Start4, 5, 7, 9

Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(5) QUCKLY RUN is yet to finish any worse than 3rd in six starts to date and has posted some fast times along the way. On her first attempt at a mile last time out on November 26th, she drew the widest gate but ran on well for 3rd and from a better draw today can win. She’ll be vying for favourite status with (2) YAMUJIN JAESU. He is yet to win but has some solid efforts at this level including a last start 3rd over this distance on December 4th. He comes up in the weights but gets Moon Se-young aboard which will tempt plenty. (6) MAIN OF KING was the 40/1 winner of that race on November 26th ahead of Quickly Run. That was his maiden score at start twenty-one, but it was also his first ever run at this distance and a repeat can’t be completely ruled out. (3) BLUE CHARM is a class and distance winner and can be given another chance despite being well back in his latest two at further. (7) SONGAM TIZ another in the placing frame.