Seoul

Korean Oaks Sunday – Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (August 9)

On Sunday it’s the fillies’ turn to have their Three-Year-Old Classic as the 2020 Korean Oaks takes place at Busan. A field of fifteen will line up in the Group 2 feature which is the last race on Busan’s 5-race Sunday card. At Seoul there are 12 races from 10:25 to 18:00. See below for the race-by-race preview along with horse by horse for the Oaks:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Plenty of interest lies in the first event with eleven two-year-old gallopers, nine of them unraced taking to the track. (4) GRAY CAT trialed up very nicely early July underneath Song Jae-chul. The Cowboy Cal colt won his trial by six lengths when clocking a solid time for the 1000m. (2) LUCKY JAESAN was another one who trialed up well. The Hansen filly clocked 62.1 seconds for her heat when winning by six lengths as well. She showed early speed in her trial so expect much the same from a good gate. (11) GREEN POKJU is one of two runners that has had a run coming into the race. The Old Fashioned filly hit the line superbly to finish second behind Cobra Ball. She is likely to settle rearwards once again with the outside draw. (6) YEONGUNG DAEMA also lined up in a two-year-old event on debut when fourth behind Samantha Cheetah. She is capable of filling a place.

Selections (4) Gray Cat (2) Lucky Jaesan (11) Green Pokju (6) Yeongung Daema
Next Best 1, 8
Fast Start 1, 2, 4, 9

 

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

A maiden open to both two and three-year-olds here. (6) MUSSANG HWANGHU came from well back to run an improved 3rd over 1200M on what was her second career start on July 18th. The slight step up in trip today can be to her benefit and she has a good chance of making the breakthrough. (7) MAKALU POWER has steadily improved over three outings to date, culminating in a runner-up finish at 1200M last start. His times have not been fast but he won’t need to improve much to be challenging here and has every chance of getting on the early speed. (11) STAR RUSH comes into contention following an improved 4th at 1200M a month ago and is another who may appreciate the small increase in distance. (1) ONE JI has been dreadful in three outings so far but looked much better when trialing two weeks ago in a fast time. Nevertheless, we’ll need to see him actually racing before we can be confident about him. The solitary debut-maker is (2) JANGSAN ENGINE and the Ecton Park filly, who has been trialing for more than a year, looked competent in her latest heat in July.

Selections (6) Mussang Hwanghu (7) Makalu Power (2) Jangsan Engine (11) Star Rush
Next Best 1, 4
Fast Start 1, 7

 

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Fair to say not the most inspiring field lines up in the third event on the card. (6) POWER MUSIC is the on top selection after finishing third last time out over the 1400m. The Winchester filly will go over the same distance where she is drawn to settle just off the speed and reel of a good sectional with minimal weight on her back. (10) SHINY QUEEN is still lightly raced enough that connections will be hoping she can show something. She improved last time out and is another that can run into the minor money. (7) IRYEO HAYEO looks capable of running a place in a much weaker assignment today. It is hard to include her with one place from twenty-five starts but this is such a weak race. (3) HOSUA is third up after finishing fourth last time out. He hit the line fairly and is another capable of running into the money.

Selections (6) Power Music (10) Shiny Queen (7) Iryeo Hayeo (3) Hosua
Next Best 5, 1
Fast Start 6

 

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Fillies only here for this handicap. (8) SAMANTHA CHEETAH was a revelation on debut, making all to win as easily as she pleased over five-furlongs. She steps up in both class and distance here but the manner of victory means she can go on top again. This is a strong race for the level though. (5) GOOD VOW also steps up in class following a maiden win in which she posted a time even faster than Samantha Cheetah’s and she too should be more then competitive at this level and will also challenge for the lead early. (7) BAEDARI CANDY too was a debut winner with a front-running performance and while she perhaps has a little bit more to find, looks right in the hunt as well. As for those with experience at this level already, (2) TANK SOCKS and (9) OUR SIMON are both proven money winners and should go close. There could be quite a cavalry charge to get the lead.

Selections (8) Samantha Cheetah (5) Good Vow (2) Tank Socks (9) Our Simon
Next Best 7, 10, 1
Fast Start 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11

 

Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Twelve imports face the starter in the fifth where they will go over the 1400m. (11) HAENGBOK WANGJA has been knocking on the door for quite some time and comes into the race with two runner-up performances since the break. Moon Se-young will take over from the injured Yoo Seung-wan. The Moon will have to overcome the outside gate but the horse has been hitting the line strong, suggesting he can let the Daredevil colt have time to find his feet. (2) GRAYDOL looks one that is capable of running into the money. The gelding has been hitting the line strong and gets a much better draw today. Whilst finishing in the money once from six starts, his times suggest he can figure in a weaker event. (6) VICTORY GO GO is second up and should strip fitter for the run. She was only fair first up when finishing fourth behind Level Tap, when one-paced through the line. (7) GOOD SENSE looks next best after placing in a Class 5 event, which is never ideal after commencing your career in Class 4 grade.

Selections (11) Haengbok Wangja (2) Graydol (6) Victory Go Go (7) Good Sense
Next Best 1, 3
Fast Start 1, 6, 7

 

Busan Race 1: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

A testing little race for the imported maidens. (5) GOOD FOR YOU was a nice 3rd on debut behind Geuma Mystic, who has gone on to win again and previously finished ahead of Derby winner Save The World in a trial. She ran 8th on her re-appearance at 1300M on July 10th but that was a much stiffer race than this and she was competitive. She can win. (10) HWANHUIUI BANSEOK was a useful 3rd on debut over this distance on July 19th. He was a front-runner that day so the draw is not kind here, but he can overcome that and compete again. (2) POKPUNG EONDEOK and (9) TRAFFIC MARINE underwhelmed in their respective appearances before the shutdown but both looked good in trials and can improve here. There are also four debut-makers and among them both (4) SONIC KING IJI and (6) JESSIEUI KKUM were both trial winners who can go well first up.

Selections (5) Good For You (4) Sonic King Iji (10) Hwanhuiui Banseok (6) Jessieui Kkum
Next Best 9, 2
Fast Start 4, 5, 10

 

Seoul Race 6: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Very competitive affair with plenty of these on the up. (4) JANGSAN BADA wasn’t detained by the lower levels for very long and steps up in class here having won two of three and finishing runner-up in the other. His latest win came in a fast time over this distance and while he carries plenty of weight again, he looks nicely in to just sit on the shoulder of the lead and finish strongly. (3) JEONGMUN BOLT was an all the way winner (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 8)

There is a 15-race behind-closed-doors card at Seoul on Saturday from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

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Racing is now just about the only thing in Korea – if not the only – to not be allowed customers

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

The two-year-old runners will line up over the short course in the first on the card. Only two of the eleven engaged have had a start, they are the on-top selections. (2) ADELE MUSTANG debuted in good style when clocking a good time on a dry track early last month. The Menifee colt settled behind the leader before failing to reel in the pacemaker going down two lengths behind Ultra Sidae. A similar performance should so the Song Moon-gil trained galloper go close. (6) TK BOY finished second on debut when running on well from a midfield position to finish second behind the impressive looking Heungbaragi. The margin was big but the winner looks something special. (11) HAPPY SOCKS looks best of the debutants coming off a solid trial performance. The filly will have to overcome the outside draw but with some early speed, should be able to cross in a race with not a lot of speed. (3) RAON THE SOX looks next best but will need to take improvement off her trial to be a winning chance.

Selections (2) Adele Mustang (6) TK Boy (11) Happy Socks (3) Raon The Sox
Next Best 5, 9
Fast Start 2, 5, 9, 11

 

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

Maidens here with all but one of them having raced at least once before. Best so far has been (8) MARU CASTLE, who ran a strong 2nd to Wonderful Light in a fast time on a good track on July 11th. She steps up in trip here but should be able to cope with that and can win. (9) PARAN WANGJA is one of only two in the race to have previously appeared twice. He ran well with a 3rd and a 5th either side of the shutdown and can improve today with Moon Se Young aboard for the first time. We’re scratching around with the rest though. (5) MISO GADEUK and (6) AROMA finished 5th and 6th respectively on debut over 1000M on June 21st. They didn’t go very quick but they won’t need to get much better to go close here. A word too for apprentice jockey Lim Da-bin, who takes his first race ride on (10) TEUNTEUNA. The 4kg allowance may help the colt get a bit closer than he did on debut.

Selections (8) Maru Castle (9) Paran Wangja (5) Miso Gadeuk (6) Aroma
Next Best 11, 4
Fast Start 8, 9

 

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

The fillies face the starter in the third where they will go over the six furlongs. (10) BAEKDUWA HALLA resumed in good style first up over the 1300m late June. The chestnut reeled off a good final sectional to finish second behind Hwa Ssi Byeok in a similar type race. (2) QUEEN LION is also second up after finishing fifth behind K.N. Power over 1000m mid-July. The filly was somewhat one-paced in the event but the time was fair, suggesting with some improvement she can figure. (7) LADY LUCKY lines up for her fourth career start after running through the line in good style last time out. The chestnut will be stretched beyond the 1000m for the first time. (6) HANSEN PRIMA looks next best coming off some fair trial performances. She will line up for her debut run from a central draw.

Selections (10) Baekduwa Halla (2) Queen Lion (7) Lady Lucky (6) Hansen Prima
Next Best 1, 11
Fast Start 2, 3

 

Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

This is not a strong maiden, to put it mildly. (4) GEUMA ROBUST showed some improvement on what was her second career start on June 20th, running on reasonably well for 4th over 1200M. The additional half-furlong may suit and she has as much chance as any of making the breakthrough here. (5) HOEBOK has finished in 4th on three of his four starts to date. He’s shown little in the way of speed but won’t need to do too much more in order to go close today. (7) AFLEET MARINE debuted promisingly in 3rd place behind Wonderful Storm in June but then struggled on her return three weeks ago. The step up in trip can suit and she’s worth another chance today. (9) JOEUN GWANGYE and (11) WORLD TEUKGEUP are others who can improve.

Selections (7) Afleet Marine (4) Geuma Robust (5) Hoebok (9) Joeun Gwangye
Next Best 11, 6
Fast Start 1, 11

 

Race 5: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million 

The Korean-bred maidens line up in the fifth over the 1300m. (3) CLEAN HEART has been knocking on the door at his past couple of starts and gets an ideal assignment here. He has rattled off some good sectionals this time in and is capable of finishing over the top of them here. (8) SPRING COME is second-up after a midfield performance when first up mid-July. The chestnut’s run back in February showed that he has an engine when finishing second behind Siberia over the short course. (2) ETERNAL MEMORY placed over the 1300m first up when clocking a fair time on a firm track last start. Lee Hyeong-jong will be legged aboard the three-year-old for the first time. (4) HWARYEO is best of the rest with the remainder of the field having limited depth.

Selections (3) Clean Heart (8) Spring Come (2) Eternal Memory (4) Hwaryeo
Next Best 7, 5
Fast Start 1,7, 8, 9

 

Race 6: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(4) FIRE HEART was an eye-catching winner on debut, making all for a five-length score over 1000M on a wet track on July 4th. He is up in class and distance today but he looks to have plenty more in him and can win again. It won’t be easy though as this is a useful (more…)

Korean Derby Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 2)

It’s finally here. The generation that risked being forgotten or worse, finally gets its Derby at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon. There are 12 races at Seoul from 10:35 to 18:00 while there is also a card at Busan. Racing remains behind closed doors.

Roller Blade

Roller Blade is back. But have the others left him behind? (Pic: KRA)

KRA Cup Mile winner Touch Star Man heads the field but it’s a race with at least nine live chances. Champion juvenile Roller Blade finally returns while the likes of Determination look to have been screaming out for this kind of distance.

Here are previews of all of Seoul’s Sunday races with horse-by-horse for the Korean Derby, which has a post time of 5pm in Seoul:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

The Korean-bred two-year-old gallopers will kick the twelve-event card off at Seoul on Sunday. The trial of (6) WHITE CHARM last month was very good suggesting the Cowboy Cal colt can put his best foot forward on debut. With a central draw it is expected that Kim Dong-soo will work forward on the grey and find a position in the leading division. The time he clocked in the trial was good enough to ensure he is there come the business end of the race. (11) CHEONGDAM WICKED is another debutant that trialed well back in June. The Menifee filly is another likely to be fired up early and sit prominent in the run. (8) JILJU DAERO is one of a few runners engaged that has had a previous start. The colt finished fourth on debut behind the impressive Heungbaragi. (7) ELITE RULES looks a place chance at best after a trial that was fair.

Selections (6) White Charm (11) Cheongdam Wicked (8) Jilju Daero (7) Elite Rules
Next Best 9, 3
Fast Start 3, 6, 11

 

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

Three-year-old maidens here with all but one of them having raced at least once before. Only one of them has troubled the judges so far. That’s (8) YONGMARU GU, who ran an improved 2nd on his second outing on July 4th at this distance beaten by well thought-of Soseono Legend. In doing so, he recorded the best time of any of these who have attempted this distance and while that is an extremely modest achievement, it should be enough to put him firmly in the frame here. (6) EUNHYE PADO has shown herself capable of running a useful time as well and tries her luck in softer company today. She gets well back in her races but seems to have a good finish on her and should improve today. (11) PIEONADA got a dreadful trip but still managed to finish 5th on debut at this distance and can build on it today. As for the solitary debut-maker, (2) MYEONGMA TIME went through a couple of trials in good order, running through the line well in both of them and couldn’t really have picked a more accommodating race to debut in.

Selections (8) Yongmaru Gu (6) Eunhye Pada (2) Myeongma Time (11) Pieonada
Next Best 9, 10
Fast Start 5, 11

 

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million 

The third on the card has a mixture of two and three-year-old gallopers to line up over the 1300m. (7) NINE EYE comes out of much stronger events where he clocked some good times over the short course. The Menifee colt has been hitting the line in good style which suggests the 1300m should suit. Moon Se-young will be legged aboard the two-year-old for the first time, which is always a good sign. (2) GOLDEN SWITCH is second up after a midfield performance behind Hansen Choice last start. The filly’s times have been fair and with some improvement second-up, she can run into the money. (1) GOVERNANCE looks next best and with a good draw is capable of sitting closer to the speed today. She passed a couple in the straight last time out over the six furlongs. (4) ACE HAMSEONG looks an each-way chance after finishing second last time out over the 1300m. His time was only fair but with some improvement he is a chance of figuring.

Selections (7) Nine Eye (2) Golden Switch (1) Governance (4) Ace Hamseong
Next Best 10, 8
Fast Start 8

 

Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(9) GAJA PLAN was an impressive all the way maiden winner over 1000M on July 5th on what was her third career start. She is up in both class and distance today but while the draw may not be as favourable for her getting an easy lead, she has claims again. (8) GOLD FIELD also got her maiden win at her latest start, albeit for her it was the fifteenth time of asking. So long at class 6 would suggest the transition to the higher grade isn’t going to be easy, however, the time she ran was faster than all but one of her rivals here have achieved at this distance and she must be given another chance. Another up in class is (1) GLORY FIGHTER. She remains a maiden but has finished 3rd on three occasions. Moon Se Young rode her on the most recent of those and sticks with her today. She should be competitive. As for those with experience of this level already, (2) YEOLRIN MUN ran out a solid 2nd over 1400M on July 5th. He has won at this distance already and is nicely drawn to get to the lead once more.

Selections (2) Yeolrin Mun (9) Gaja Plan (1) Glory Fighter (8) Gold Field
Next Best 7, 6
Fast Start 2, 5, 6, 9

 

Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Ten Korean-bred gallopers line up in the fifth where the majority of the runners appear to be out of form. (9) RIDE LUCKY is the one engagement that brings a last start win into the race, which he brought up at start two. He will carry the same weight with the claim of Moon Sung-hyeok being applied. He showed plenty of speed first up when clocking a good time for this grade. (1) NONGBUI SUCHEAHWA looks to map in the first four in running. Kim Yong-geun will be legged aboard for the first time, with the filly drawn the inside for her ninth assignment. She has placed on four occasions from eight starts and this looks weaker than previous assignments. (8) MENI STAND is second up after a reasonable performance when finishing fourth behind Songnam Tiz first up. The Menifee filly should improve off the run, 1200m is not an ideal distance with her best performances over 1000m. She will need to start running out a strong six furlongs (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 1)

Saturday is Korean Derby Eve in Seoul and there are 15 races (sadly behind closed doors) running from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Mask Gaon Champ

Mask, seen here denying Gaon Champ in the Sports Seoul a couple of years ago, returns on Saturday (Pic: Ross Holburt/KRA)

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

The two-year-old gallopers will kick proceedings off as they line up over the short course. With ten debutants lining up it is always hard to know what they are hiding up their sleeve. Whilst saying that, we are happy to elect (6) BLACK CHARM as the on top selection, who is one of two gallopers who has had a start. The Testa Matta colt flew from the tail on debut when near last on the home turn, to finish third behind Fort Seuone. The danger lies with how far back he gets but if he is in touch, he should go past these. (10) CHIEF INDY will be watched with interest as he lines up for his first start. The colt was not overly asked for in his trial and will have the services of Moon Se-young. (8) LUCKY CLUB finished midfield behind a very handy type in Heungbaragi last time out where they clocked a good time. He looks an each-way chance in the event. (7) ADAMS APPLE looks next best of the debutants coming into the race. The Hansen filly clocked a reasonable time on a dry track, with some improvement out of the trial she can run into the money.

Selections (6) Black Charm (10) Chief Indy (8) Lucky Club (7) Adams Apple
Next Best 11, 3
Fast Start 3, 9, 10

 

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

A big prize on offer for imported juveniles (and Happy Birthday to the two southern hemisphere runners who turn three today but remain eligible). (6) AUCKLAND SOCKS went up against another promising newcomer, Legend Day, on debut on July 19th. He came off second best over 1200M but should have come on for the experience and looks nicely in here. In the same race, (2) GEOMISON ran 7th in the same race which was somewhat disappointing after he debuted well behind Mighty New, who has since won again, in June. He should be on speed early though and dropping back to 1000M may help. There are some promising first-timers. Moon Se Young rode Auckland Socks two weeks ago but this time gets on (5) SIRIUS A for top trainer Park Dae-heung. The Malibu Moon colt trialed up solidly, if unspectacularly three weeks ago. Most impressive in trials though was (7) BALVENIE, who after qualifying in April went through another in June. The Will Take Charge colt won both and looked especially well in the second of those.

Selections (6) Auckland Socks (7) Balvenie (5) Sirius A (2) Geomison
Next Best 4
Fast Start 2, 4

 

Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

The third on the card is a speedy affair where the Korean-bred maidens will up over the six furlongs. Expect (2) SHADOW QUEEN to fire out of the gates hard and take up the running. She looked the winner at the furlong pole last time out before being reeled in by Shiny Fire. She should be better for the run and punters know they will get a good sight with her racing pattern. (6) THUNDER K also felt the pinch late last start but clocked a reasonable time considering the race he is lining up in. He is another one that will end up in the leading division early on. (11) ULTRA ANNIE showed enough last preparation to suggest she will be one of the improvers in the event. The filly will be suited by the drop back to the 1200m after having enough in the latter stages of the 1400m event she lined up in last start. (3) BIANCA showed improvement last time out and looks a place chance at best.

Selections (2) Shadow Queen (6) Thunder K (11) Ultra Annie (3) Bianca
Next Best 9, 5
Fast Start 2, 3, 6, 11

 

Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(10) TONGIL JILJU showed significant improvement when running 2nd over this distance on July 12th at what for him was start number six. In doing so, he recorded the fastest time that any of these have set over 1200M and it’s not impossible he could come from off the pace to win today. (11) CUPID BISANG has been more consistent across her five outings so far. Her best came on debut at 1000M and the test for her will be if she can get to the lead – where she really needs to be – without using too much energy; a tough ask from the outside gate. Nevertheless, she shouldn’t be far away. (6) CHEON CHONG ran 4th behind Tongil Jilju three weeks ago and like that one, could finally be figuring things out. (9) ROAD ROSE has at least troubled the scorers on one occasion and looks nicely in here. (8) ANYANG HORANGI has good speed from the gate – at least compared with the rest of this lot – and should get to the lead/ The question is how long she can hold onto it.

Selections (10) Tongil Jilju (11) Cupid Bisang (6) Cheon Chong (8) Anyang Horangi
Next Best 9, 2
Fast Start 8, 9, 11

 

Race 5: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

The three-year-old colts and fillies will line up in the fifth where there looks a handful of chances engaged. (4) DOKDO SARANG goes on top after finishing second on debut behind Raon Fashion. The Colors Flying filly let down with a nice turn of speed and whilst the time for the 1200m was not all that fast, it should be good enough to figure once again here. (11) A. P. PATEK is another that resumed in good style to finish second behind J.S. Power. The colt is likely to slot over after the start and stalk the leaders, before being asked for by Kim Yong-geun at the top of the straight. (6) HAECHAN has led and capitulated at both of his runs to date. He didn’t go down by a big margin last time out, at his second run back he should show improvement. (8) CHOTOMA debuts after some very handy trials. If he breaks cleanly it will be interesting to see what he can do. Keep him safe on an each-way basis.

Selections (4) Dokdo Sarang (11) A. P. Patek (6) Haechan (8) Chotoma
Next Best 2, 9
Fast Start 5, 6, 9

 

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

Just the fillies going here. (9) HAPPY MONTH has gone close on a number of occasions without having made the breakthrough. He ran a decent 4th at the distance last time and (more…)

YTN Cup Day Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (July 19)

It’s Dokki Day in Seoul! Cheongdam Dokki roared back into form winning the Herald Business Cup a month ago. On Sunday afternoon he faces familiar rivals in the G3 YTN Cup. The YTN is the feature on a 14-race Sunday program which runs from 10:25 to 18:00, There is also a 5-race card at Busan. Here are the previews:

Dokki YTN.jpg

Cheingdam Dokki beat Tiz Plan, Shamrocker (hidden) and Rock Hard Seven in the Herald Business. All four return in the YTN (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Twelve juvenile maidens go around in the opener with all but one racing for the very first time. This is one of those occasions, however, when we need to side with experience because (10) OXFORD KING put in an extremely encouraging debut on June 21st, finishing in 2nd place at this distance. The Summer Front colt previously posted trial times that were quicker than any of the first-timers here have managed and despite the wide draw, he should win. As for those first-timers, (3) BRIGHT VICTOR won her trial leading all the way and can be expected to push for the early lead here from a favourable draw. (1) K N TEUKGEUP looked comfortable in his heat when recording a useful time and the trainer/jockey combination will ensure he has plenty of support first up. (9) THE KING BLADE and (11) ROYAL YEONGGWANG are others to keep an eye on.

Selections (10) Oxford King (1) K N Teukgeup (3) Bright Victor (9) The King Blade
Next Best 11, 8
Fast Start 2, 3, 7, 10

 

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

The Korean-bred three-year-old gallopers line up in the second event. (5) ROCK BEAT looks hard to beat after finishing second on debut last start behind Wonderful Storm, when clocking a quick time. The filly sat on speed last start, barrier five will allow rider Ha Jung-hun to let his mount roll forward and ask her for an effort at the top of the straight. (8) AFLEET MARINE finished just behind Rock Beat last start finishing third in the same event. The filly settled further back however before making up ground in the second half of the race. (4) SPRING COME resumes after finishing second back in February before the hiatus. The chestnut trialed up in fair style, with a good draw he should get an economic run and is capable of filling a place. (6) LEGEND WIN drops back to the five furlongs after finishing third behind Yaho Golden Cat last start. He tried to lead throughout last start, we imagine the tactics here will be to work forward early and try and hold off the late runs of his opposition.

Selections (5) Rock Beat (8) Afleet Marine (4) Spring Come (6) Legend Win
Next Best 7, 3
Fast Start 5, 6

 

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Competitive maiden for three-year-olds here. (3) GRACE QUEEN ran a good 3rd on debut on June 20th at this distance and although well back behind a good winner, showed progress from her trials and she looks like she’ll be in the winner’s circle before too long. She’ll be aiming to get on pace from the start and she can win. (1) K.N. POWER ran 5th in the same race and also has scope for improvement. Across her trials and debut she’s looked like she may want further but will be competitive again in this company. (4) BEST FAMILY was slightly slower in her debut on June 21st but rallied well for 4th and can build on that today. Draw a line through the performance of (9) EAST ONE three weeks ago as he stumbled at the start and never really recovered. He has found the minor placings a couple of times already though and should go close here. (11) MAY BLUE looks to be figuring things out and ran a strong 3rd at this distance two weeks ago. The draw does her no favours but if she overcome that to get a forward position, she has more than a chance. (2) POTENTIAL ENERGY caught the eye when winning a June trial and looks set to improve.

Selections (3) Grace Queen (1) K. N. Power (11) May Blue (9) East One
Next Best 2, 4, 12
Fast Start 3, 4, 11

 

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million 

Another bunch of three-year-old gallopers line up in the fourth, this time going over the 1400m. (3) OLD BLADE looks the one to beat after showing a good turn of foot last time out to finish second behind Blue K. She should appreciate the services of Moon Se-young combined with the minor step up to the 1400m. (12) THE DREAM looks next best after sitting on speed when resuming and finishing second to Top Seed. The chestnut will have to overcome the outside gate early to be given a winning chance. (2) POWER MUSIC hit the line well last start when fifth in the event that Old Blade lined up in. If the filly can settle closer she can run into the money. (6) THUNDER WIND looks next best after finishing second behind Meotjin Seungbu. The time was not overly quick but he appears and each way commodity in the race.

Selections (3) Old Blade (12) The Dream (2) Power Music (6) Thunder Wind
Next Best 5, 8
Fast Start 4, 12

 

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(4) BALBATU steps up in class having secured his maiden win at the third time of asking over 1200M on June 20th. He actually started poorly that day, spotting his rivals a few lengths with a lazy start but went on to run them down pleasingly and that suggests the increase in trip won’t trouble him unduly today. (7) SPEED HEUKRYONG drops back in trip having run 2nd to Milky Sherry over 1700M on June 20th. He put in a strong front-running performance in that race and can be expected to be on speed again with solid claims to be involved at the business end of the race. (5) LUXURY CAPTAIN has a track record of being a bit of a pain to deal with as he proved two weeks ago when starting badly and then racing ungenerously throughout. He does have a bit of talent about him though and with improved manners can be a danger. (1) GOD OF SOCKS resumes for the first time since the restart and is another with ability in this company. (8) BARAMUI MISO and (9) FLYING JOY others in the placing frame. There is very little early speed engaged here so the latter of that pair may find it easy to get to the front.

Selections (4) Balbatu (7) Speed Heukryong (1) God Of Socks (8) Baramui Miso
Next Best 5, 9
Fast Start 1, 9

 

Busan Race 2: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

The three-year-old imports line up in the second event as they all look for their maiden victory. (2) ARA ROSE resumed in good style last time out when clocking a quick time to finish second behind Geuma Mystic. She positioned behind the speed last time out before hitting the line strong, a similar performance from a handy draw should see her go close. (4) WORLD TOP resumes after a good trial in April. At his last start he finished third behind Babel Hit over the 1200m, back in February. He sat closer to the speed at his second start which he should be able to do so once again with a good draw. (7) HWANHUIUI BANSEOK lines up for his first race start after a couple of trials. They clocked a fair time in his most recent trial suggesting he can run into the money. (1) ROYAL PENNANT comes out of the same race as Ara Rose where the chestnut finished fifth, yielding some ground in the straight. If he can show some improvement, he can collect a cheque.

Selections (2) Ara Rose (4) World Top (7) Hwahuiui Banseok (1) Royal Pennant
Next Best 8, 5
Fast Start 1, 4

 

Race 6: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

The fillies and mares will line up against each other in the sixth where there is plenty of speed engaged. (5) JEONGSEONG STAR resumes after an encouraging first preparation. The filly placed on numerous occasions before being promoted to this grade, where she broke maiden status last start over the 1200m. She trialed up in fast time in April and looks ready to put her best foot forward fresh. (11) GOOD WONDER looks one that will (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 11)

Busan was struck by monsoon rains during the early part of Friday’s card but while there is the possibility of showers, there should be no such problems at Seoul for Saturday’s behind closed doors fixture. There are 13 races from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews: 

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It will be empty at Seoul again

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

A field of inexperienced fillies and mares kick off proceedings at Seoul where they are all looking for their first victory. (4) WONDERFUL LIGHT gets her best chance to date to break maiden status coming off a good effort behind Hansen Choice three weeks back. The Tiz Wonderful filly hit the line with gusto last time out where they clocked a reasonable time. She drops back to the 1000m where Moon Jung-kyun will need to ensure she sits closer to the speed this time around. (3) PRIME SUMMIT comes off a midfield performance when debuting three weeks ago. The Chapel Royal filly got tired in the final stages after positioning directly behind the speed. She should take improvement from the run and be gifted a nice run from a good draw. (5) AMAZING WHIZ is first up since the enforced break. She has had the two previous starts, the most recent of them she finished fourth over the 1300m when finishing off strong. It is unknown if the drop back to the 1000 will suit her, but she did clock a reasonable trial time over the five furlongs during the break. (10) MARU CASTLE is one of three debutants lining up in the event. Her recent trial was encouraging when finishing second in a fair time. Keep her safe in your exotic bets.

Selections (4) Wonderful Light (3) Prime Summit (5) Amazing Whiz (10) Maru Castle
Next Best 1, 2
Fast Start 3. 6

 

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Maiden two-year-olds go around here with just two of the eight having raced previously. They went in the same race and of the pair, (1) NINE EYE was the one to emerge with some credit, running 5th of twelve and through the line strongly. He can be expected to have come on for that run and to improve today. The main dangers are likely to emerge from the first-timers. (4) ADELE MUSTANG looks the most likely, having run well in a May trial posting a good time on what was admittedly a fast track. He’s the second foal from his dam, who won here five times and the jockey/trainer combination will tempt plenty. He can win. (3) JOEUN GWANGYE, who should be on speed from the start, and (8) LUCKY WORLD are others who performed well enough in trials to be considered place chances first-up.

Selections (4) Adele Mustang (1) Nine Eye (3) Jeoun Gwangye (8) Lucky World
Next Best 6
Fast Start 3, 7

 

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

The third on the card will see the three-year-old maiden gallopers go over the 1200m. (1) KING KANMOREU resumes and will line up for his fifth start. The Hansen chestnut placed over the 1300m last time out behind Jeongmun Bolt in January. He trialed in April and clocked a fair time when comparing it to the strength of this race. (3) WONDERFUL MAMBO looks the next best of the runners engaged coming off a last start fifth behind Big Plan. Her last start was prior to the hiatus, with the filly performing only fair in a trial in April. (5) SEOUL CROWN is another that resumes and is capable of running into the money. The colt has the ability to position on speed and should hold out quite a few. (2) CUPID KOREA is next best with a handy trial in May. He lines up for his fourth start with his best performance a fifth two starts back behind High Wonderful.

Selections (1) King Kanmoreu (3) Wonderful Mambo (5) Seoul Crown (2) Cupid Korea
Next Best 6, 7
Fast Start 1, 5

 

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

(1) CHODONG ROCKET ran twice last autumn for 3rd and 2nd, the latter in a useful time on a sloppy track at this distance. He’s not raced since and while he was only average in an April trial, he’ll not need to do too much to win this. Kim Yong-geun, who rode him in both those 2019 starts, remains aboard, and he is the one to beat, most likely leading from the start. After an encouraging trial, (7) SANARAE ran a solid 4th on her return to action on June 20th over this distance. She is slightly one-paced but that will be enough to see her go close today. (8) HYPER CAR recorded back to back 3rd place finishes at the turn of the year and while he only managed 6th over 1400M on his return two weeks ago, he too should have enough about him to challenge for a place here. (6) SUN WINNER and (9) BAEKDU GEOPO are others with claims on the minor places.

Selections (1) Chodong Rocket (7) Sanarae (8) Hyper Car (9) Baekdu Geopo
Next Best 6, 2
Fast Start 1, 7

 

Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

As is the theme of the day, another small field lines up in the fifth where they will go over the 1200m. (2) GIANT GIRL is second-up after a nice performance when resuming to finish third behind Wish Me over 1300m. She clocked a good time for this class and a similar performance will see her go close. She missed the kick last start, but if she can jump with them she should be ready to strike at the top of the straight. (5) GO UP looks (more…)

KRA Cup Mile Sunday: Busan & Seoul Race-By-Race Preview (July 5)

It’s been a rocky road to the first three-year-old Classic of the season but against the backdrop of an existential threat to Korean racing with seemingly little prospect of either online or offline betting arriving any time soon, the KRA Cup Classic will finally be run at Busan this afternoon. There is a 5 race card at Busan with the big race at 3.30pm while at Seoul there are 14 races from 10.25 to 18.00.

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Save The World enters the KRA Cup Mile as a leading contender

Fourteen horses will enter the gate but champion juvenile and one time Triple Crown favourite Roller Blade won’t be among them, after a 10,000/1 type administrative oversight meant he hadn’t fulfilled the qualification criteria.

It hasn’t been the smoothest of build-ups for another leading candidate Save The World either, with his trainer having sadly passed away in March.

Save The World does run and is set to be among the favourites as is Choegang Team who has only been beaten by Roller Blade in his five starts to date and looks to be the pick of the raiders from Seoul along with so far unbeaten Roan Tough Man. Gyeongnam Do Min Cup winner Doctor Carson is another in a race made all the more fascinating for the lengthy absence of racing at a time when the three-year-olds would have been coming into their own. Here are all the previews – scroll down for the KRA Cup Mile (Busan race 5):

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

A tough race to kick proceedings off on Sunday with a lack of exposed form for punters to assess. (8) SHINY FIRE is the top elect based on a reasonable trial performance in April combined with what she showed at her first couple of starts. The Midshipman filly has shown early speed in her racing and should work forward early on. Expect it to be a slog up the home straight but we think she will be one of them left in the finish. (2) KKAEUCHIM can run into the money based on some reasonable performances before the hiatus. The four-year-old is yet to place from nine starts but this race has a severe lack of form. (1) SHADOW QUEEN has been included on the basis of a nice trial in recent times. She has had the one start where she showed very little but the trial was good and if she collects a cheque it would not surprise. (3) WOL YEONG I is another that trialed well but needs to bring it to race day.

Selections (8) Shiny Fire (2) Kkaeuchim (1) Shadow Queen (3) Wol Yeong I
Next Best 4, 5
Fast Start 2, 8

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Not the strongest of maidens here. (1) HAMYANG SANGRIM sports two 3rd place finishes among seven starts so far and is at least capable of consistently running a competitive time. She didn’t catch the eye in an April trial but if Ha Jung-hun can work her to the front from the inside gate then she has a good chance of scoring here. (4) GEUMA MAJESTY is the only one of the field who has recorded a runner-up finish, something she achieved at this distance. She returned in February after nine months out to run a decent 4th, again over this distance and can go well first up once more. Neither (3) GAJA PLAN nor (9) OKAY JJANG offered much in their limited experience so far but both showed a bit more promise, the former especially, in recent trials and can improve today. That’s true too for (10) MAY BLUE, who does at least have a 4th place to her name and will be expected to work forward to the front from the outside gate.

Selections (3) Gaja Plan (1) Hamyang Sanrim (10) May Blue (4) Geuma Majesty
Next Best 9
Fast Start 1, 10

 

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

The Korean-bred three-year-old fillies line up in the third over 1200m. (3) RAPIDO ARES looks the one to beat based on a very solid debut performance. The Lion Metal filly finished third behind Lucky Myeongho on that occasion when hitting the line strongly. The step out to the 1200m looks ideal for her and she comes off a reasonable trial. (2) SAENAE CHOICE must be considered as a winning chance. She is a speedy type who has stuck on in her races honestly to date and with fresh legs she is one to keep safe in your selections. (5) HANIL MOA has been settling further back at her past couple of starts. She will be hitting the line strong late and looks a place chance at best. (7) GLOBAL SUN is on the two week back up after feeling the pinch late in her recent run. She should strip fitter for the run and looks capable of collecting a cheque.

Selections (3) Rapido Ares (2) Saenae Choice (5) Hanil Moa (7) Global Sun
Next Best 4, 1
Fast Start 2

 

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

Maiden fillies only tackling the 1200M. (1) DREAM GIRLS showed progress over three starts prior to the shutdown culminating in a 2nd place on February 22nd. All of them were at 1000M and all were in decent times. She confirmed her ability when trialing well behind Blessing Road in May and stepping up to 1200M for the first time, she can win and in a race with no early speed, can probably lead gate to wire. The form for the rest is patchy, to put it mildly. (7) ANYANG HORANGI has never finished any better than 4th but has posted some good times, albeit in rain-assisted tracks. She trialed up well – also in the wet – three weeks ago and can be competitive here. (6) WONDER PLACE too has been consistent if unspectacular and she too performed competently in her trial. (9) HARUON got sent out only slightly better than even-money when she raced at this distance in February. Punters must have seen something in her prior run when she clocked a useful time over the 1000M. She ended up finishing 5th but that form is enough to bring her firmly into placing contention today.

Selections (1) Dream Girls (9) Haruon (7) Anyang Horangi (6) Wonder Place
Next Best 4
Fast Start 1

 

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

A compact field of eight will go over the 1400m in the fifth event. (4) YEOLRIN MUN was a good last start winner over the 1200m back in February. The Any Given Saturday colt has had just the five runs for the win and two minors. The trial in April was average but he lined up against some handy types. (2) STREET GANGJA was a last start winner on debut. The Hongji gelding won by a clear margin but clocked a very slow time for the 1200m. The recent trial was good and with some improvement has to be considered a winning chance. (6) MISSILE CANDY is consistently around the mark and finds an assignment where the entire can collect some prizemoney. He comes off a last start fifth behind Gold Blue Magic when shortening stride in the final stages over 1400m. The drop back to the six furlongs suits and his trial was good. (1) RESKA looks next best after lining up in a tougher assignment last start when finishing fifth. Expect the Big Brown filly to sit behind the speed and motor late.

Selections (4) Yeolrin Mun (2) Street Gangja (6) Missile Candy (1) Reska
Next Best 5, 3
Fast Start 3, 4 ,6

 

Busan Race 2: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(2) CHROME MAGIC had started to lose his way somewhat in his last three outings prior to the shutdown so it may be that the enforced time off has done him some good. It certainly looked that way when he trialed up at the beginning of June, running 2nd in a fast heat to the class 1 Baengmunbaekdap. Moon Se-young is an intriguing booking aboard and he can win. (1) WONDERFUL COUNTRY and (8) DAEHO JILJU both returned to action two weeks ago, both (more…)

Busan Ilbo Sunday: Seoul & Busan Race-By-Race Preview (June 28)

The fifteenth running of the Busan Ilbo Cup is the feature race for the weekend with a capacity field of sixteen to face the starter at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon. With the postponement of the Chairman’s Cup due to Covid-19, this will be the first leg of the 2020 Korean Sprint Series. There are 5 races at Busan from 12:15 to 15:30 while at Seoul there are 14 from 10:35 to 18:00. Both meetings are closed to spectators.

Segye Ilbo Cup 2020 Finish Simjangui Godong Do kki Blade Gaon Chamo

Simjangui Godong denied Do Kki Blade and Gaon Champ in the Segye Ilbo in January. The trio meet again in Busan on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

Eight of Seoul’s top sprinters will line up against eight of Busan’s best over the 1200m. The Group Three feature was taken out by Gaon Champ last year, who lines up in the event once again.

The winning trifecta of the Segye Ilbo Cup in January will reunite to face off once more. There was less than half a length covering the first three in the 1200m listed feature with Simjangui Godong (1st), Do Kki Blade (2nd) and Gaon Champ (3rd) completing the trifecta. Last year’s Champion Three-Year-Old Simjangui Godong showed a brilliant turn of foot over the sprint distance after dropping back from the 1800m the start prior. Do Kki Blade and Gaon Champ both settled on speed and were gallant up the Seoul straight.

Last start Class One winner Seobu Cat will face his toughest test to date, coming of four successive victories. The four-year-old comes off a dominant two length victory when carrying the featherweight of 51kg, defeating Doraonpogyeongson (2nd/58kg) and Ace Korea (4th/60kg).

Last year’s Korea Sprint runner-up Dia Socks will make the trip to Busan for the feature. The five-year-old comes off a last start fourth behind Global Captain, who is absent from the race. The five-year-old is never the fastest out of the gates, but he did fail to muster early on last start which cost him a closer finish after rattling home late. To make things more difficult, he has been dealt the outside gate but will have the services of Korea’s leading jockey in Moon Se-Young.

M J Power and Morning Daero both come off Class One victories. M J Power saluted over the 1200m in February with just 52kg on his back, he beat home Munhak Winner (3rd/52kg) who will line up in the event as well. Morning Daero comes off a 1400m victory carrying 56.5kg when defeating former KRA Cup Classic Winner Divide Wind (4th/52kg).

King Of Glory was beaten four lengths last start late December over 1200m in Class One grade carrying 56kg, with Hi Sexy finishing well back in the same race. Clean Up Board comes off a last start midfield performance behind Heuk Jeonsa whilst Seongpa and Seongsan Simon saluted in Class 1 events over 1200m and 1400m respectively.

In a wide open version of the Busan Ilbo Cup, Gaon Champ is the on top selection. The five-year-old entire has been so consistent throughout his career to date, winning nine of fourteen and placing on three other occasions. He is drawn to likely find the fence early on, and if not sit at worst one of the fence outside of Seongpa who is a speedy type. His trial in April was encouraging, Lim Gi-won looked statuesque aboard him as he worked home under his own steam to clock a good time. Epsom Derby-winning jockey Alan Munro is the beneficiary of an injured Lim Gi-won and will be legged aboard on Sunday.

Here are previews for all races:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

The maidens kick off proceedings on Sunday’s 14 event card. (7) GLOBAL WANGJA looks the one to get punters off to a good start coming off a last start second behind Ganghojeil back in February. The lightly race four-year-old has speedy types drawn either side of him suggesting he should get a trail forward and be able to camp on the leaders’ coattails. (6) PARAN WANGJA is one of those speedy types who will work forward. The Divine Park chestnut was prominent in his debut when placing behind Cheongdam Curling. He completed the 1200m in a slow time on debut but with some improvement he looks an each-way prospect. (3) COIN BLADE hasn’t raced since April last year when finishing third on debut. He trialed in April and the performance couldn’t give us an indication of how he is going. Keep him safe as is if he is sound he could give this a shake. (4) HOEBOK looks next best finishing just behind the placings at his past couple of starts.

Selections (7) Global Wangja (6) Paran Wangja (3) Coin Blade (4) Hoebok
Next Best 2, 8
Fast Start 5, 6, 8

 

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Maiden fillies go around here. (8) RAON BLOOD improved to 3rd place on what was her fourth outing in February. She’s not the quickest but she plugs away well and against this limited set of opposition, she has fair claims having almost made all in a trial earlier this month. (6) IMPERIAL SILK finished 4th behind Raon Blood last time out and looked similarly well when trialing with seemingly scope for more development. (12) HWA SSI BYEOK has finished no worse than 5th in three outings so far. She has been quite one-paced but just with Raon Blood, that may be enough to see her into some money here. Her recent trial was good enough. (5) WONDERFUL CAT has a runner-up finish at class and distance to her name and must be taken seriously while (9) BAEKDUWA HALLA did nothing wrong when 4th on debut in February, running on strongly over 1000M and looks in the hunt over the additional distance too.

Selections (8) Raon Blood (6) Imperial Silk (9) Baekduwa Halla (12) Hwa Ssi Byeok
Next Best 5, 2, 3
Fast Start 4, 6, 7, 8

 

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

The maiden three-year-olds will go over the 1400m in the third with the most experienced gallopers having just the five starts against their name. (6) BLUE CHARM is considered an each-way chance based on his past couple of starts. He finished third behind Punch Power last time out when beaten less than a length. The Tiz Wonderful colt is a strong and leggy type who looks as if he will appreciate the 1400m first up. (9) WILD KINGDOM is a big chance after finishing third behind Dynamic Punch last time out. The Competitive Edge colt has placed twice from the three starts and is one of only a few who can show early speed. (2) ROCK NEWS has been hitting the line better at his past couple of starts. He won his trial in April and further improvement first up is possible. (1) YEONGJU STONE looks next best coming off a last start third when hitting the line strong in the final stages. The chestnut will be aided by an inside draw.

Selections (6) Blue Charm (9) Wild Kingdom (2) Rock News (1) Yeongju Stone
Next Best 3, 7
Fast Start 6, 9

 

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Fillies only here. (6) SIBERIA made all when odds-on on debut in February for a strong win. She is up in class today and didn’t exactly pull up trees in her trial so while she can win again, there are some question marks. (1) CHOEGANGMA similarly steps up to this distance for the first time. She got her maiden win at 1000M last November and then raced twice at this class finishing 3rd and 2nd beating a few of these in the process. She likes to come from just off the pace and today could be his day again. (4) PRETTY JOY too tries the distance for the first time having run 2nd on her first try at this class in December. Her trial was not as strong as others, however. (10) RAIN K had a hard time on her first start at this level in February when she never got into gear and finished well back but looked much better in a recent trial. If she gets a good start, she can be a factor. The up in class (2) ALL BAEK is another to look out for.

Selections (6) Siberia (1) Choegangma (4) Pretty Joy (10) Rain K
Next Best 2, 3, 4, 11
Fast Start 2, 4, 6, 9, 10

 

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

There looks to be a lack of speed engaged in the fifth suggesting the winner will need to be in touch with the leaders at the top of the straight. From an outside draw (12) SAMSEONG VIVA looks one that can work forward and camp on the leaders’ backs. The Tiz Wonderful colt saluted over this distance three starts back, then finished midfield before running second last start behind Jeongsang Dolpung. (3) EAST CHAMP broke through for his first win last start over this distance. He trialed in April and performed only fair but we will include him based on his consistency shown in his four career starts to date. (1) TANK SOCKS has drawn ideally to sit closer to the speed. She comes off a last start fourth when somewhat one-paced to the line. She did win on debut at big odds, suggesting the forced freshen-up may work in her favour. (7) CHEONNYEONUI BARAM is considered an each-way chance based on his last start when third behind Dia Key. The four-year-old has had the sixteen start yielding just the one win and three minor placings, whilst the record is not overly impressive, this isn’t the strongest race.

Selections (12) Samseong Viva (3) East Champ (1) Tank Socks (7) Cheonnyeonui Baram
Next Best 11, 4
Fast Start 6, 11

 

Busan Race 2: Class 4 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

After getting his maiden win at odds in excess of 60/1 back in January, (3) MR. HANSEN promptly followed up with another victory, this time at 1400M in February. He steps up in class again but is beautifully drawn to be on pace from the start and has every chance of completing his hat-trick here. (11) BEYOND steps up in class and distance following a nice looking win over 1300M back in January. He usually comes from off the pace so if (more…)

Herald Business Seoul Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 21)

Listed action returns to Seoul Racecourse on Sunday when the Herald Business Cup headlines the behind-closed-doors meeting. There are 15 races from 10:25-18:00 while Busan also hosts a 5-race spectator-less program. The Herald Business is the main lead up race to the YTN Cup (G3), which has been re-scheduled for mid-July and features two-time winner Cheongdam Dokki facing the venerable Triple Nine and a host of the biggest names in Korean racing over 2000M. Here are the previews:

Cheongdam Dokki Herald Business KRA

Cheongdam Dokki won his second Herald Business Cup last year (Pic: KRA)

 

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Twelve two-year-olds line up in the first on Sunday where they are all on debut. (4) OXFORD KING was impressive when he trialed in April winning his heat in good time. He showed an abundance of gate speed and flattened out nicely hitting the line in professional style. (9) JEONGMUN JJANG clocked a good time in his trial when going up against the more experienced gallopers. He ran on down the centre of the track taking ground of some of his counterparts. (10) QUEEN OF BEST won her trial when showing early speed. The Purge filly crossed from gate eight to sit outside the leader before being nursed to the line suggesting she has more to offer. (2) FORT SEUONE looks next best with a handy draw. The filly was beaten a big margin in her trial but the time was respectable for the two-year-olds.

Selections (4) Oxford King (9) Jeongmun Jjang (10) Queen Of Best (2) Fort Seuone
Next Best 12, 3
Fast Start 4

 

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

More unraced maidens but this time it’s for the three-year-olds with ten fillies and two colts going over the 1000M. (2) WONDERFUL STORM is a half-brother to Dubai Carnival winner Main Stay and trialed the most convincing of this lot. He went through three heats in total, improving each time and he can make his debut a winning one against modest opposition. The only other one of these to even break 63 seconds in a trial is the other colt, (10) AROMA. He demonstrated decent gate speed and should be challenging from the start. So too should (4) BEST FAMILY, whose only trial saw her run 2nd having led for much of the way. (3) ROCK BEAT put in a credible time in the second of her two trials having weakened after leading in the first of them and she should have a good handle on what’s expected of her here. (6) HIT HEART another with a chance of going well first-up. Plenty of these will be looking to lead from the gate.

Selections (2) Wonderful Storm (3) Rock Beat (4) Best Family (10) Aroma
Next Best 6, 11
Fast Start 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 11

 

Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million 

A field of twelve are looking for their first win in the third event. (3) MAGIC PLAN lines up for her second start after finishing second on debut in February. The Plan filly ran through the line well and had the remainder of the field covered safely. She has trialed fairly of late and with some improvement can figure in a wide open race. (8) ULTRA ANNIE has placed on two occasions from four career starts to date. The filly has shown plenty of speed in her past couple of starts. She failed to impress in a recent trial but she has the runs on the board in this grade suggesting she can run into the money. (5) HYPER CAR is another that has collected some prizemoney to date. The colt has finished second at his past two starts. He has reeled off some reasonable sectionals previously suggesting the step up to the 1400m will be suitable. The last start performance of (11) HWARYEO cannot go unnoticed. The Hansen filly finished third behind Luisa who looks a nice type. Keep her safe in your wider selections.

Selections (3) Magic Plan (8) Ultra Annie (5) Hyper Car (11) Hwaryeo
Next Best 1, 12
Fast Start 3, 8, 11

 

Race 4: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(8) ILBO DEUNGCHEON improved across the course of three outings last year, culminating in 2nd place over 1300M in November. He’s just been the through the one trial since, in March, looking well and stepping up to 1400M today, he has a chance of going one better this time. (12) LUCKY SMILE ran twice last year finishing in 3rd place on both occasions. The Menifee filly has kept the consistency going by finishing 2nd in two trials this year, most recently in May. She ran on well in both her actual races, both of which were at 1000M and she may well appreciate the additional distance today. (2) KOREAN PEARL and (4) BOGO TTO BOGO are the only two in the field who have raced at this distance previously. Neither was especially fast but both ran through the line well and improvement is possible here. The latter trialed pleasingly enough in April. (5) AMAZING QUEEN and (7) ALPHA DOK have both performed promisingly at 1300M and both can come into contention at the extended trip today.

Selections (8) Ilbo Deungcheon (12) Lucky Smile (2) Korean Pearl (7) Alpha Dok
Next Best 4, 5
Fast Start 4, 7, 8

 

Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

We can approach the three-year-old fillies race on the card with some confidence as there looks a nice developing type engaged. (8) LION YEOJE showed a brilliant turn of foot at her most recent start when winning over the 1000m at her second start. She looks one that will appreciate the 1300m as she has already shown an ounce of versatility. (12) WONDERFUL HEART looks the likely pacemaker who will need to be run down. The Eurosilver filly was gobbled up in the final stages last time out to finish third over the 1200m in similar company. (4) LUISA broke maiden status last time out when chasing doggedly to the line. She appreciated the step up to the 1300m giving her time to wind up and gun the pacemakers down. She does need to improve a couple of lengths however as her time last start was comparatively slow. (6) LAST MAGIC is another that takes a while to wind up but flattened out in good style last start to break maiden status. Keep her safe in your wider selections.

Selections (8) Lion Yeoje (12) Wonderful Heart (4) Luisa (6) Last Magic
Next Best 2, 1
Fast Start 1, 5, 12

 

Race 6: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(9) JANGSAN BADA was an 8/1 winner on debut at this distance in the final day before the shutdown in February, coming from just off the pace to win handily. He’s never actually finished behind another horse having a 100% record in trials too and while he is up in class today, he’s the only winner at this distance and he can repeat. It won’t be easy though. Having scored on debut in December, (1) WANG TAENG I was sent off an odds-on chance for his first try at this level in January. He ran 2nd, unable to get to a good winner, but is certainly worth another chance today. (3) CHEONGDAM CURLING and (5) CARVING CROSS are both up in class following last start maiden wins. The latter looked sensational when blitzing an April trial and both should be competitive at this level. They have contrasting styles with Carving Cross set to attempt to lead all the way while Cheongdam Curling will come from off the pace. Plenty of others with promise as well including (4) GAGANA, who perhaps trialed the best.

Selections (9) Jangsan Bada (1) Wang Taeng I (5) Carving Cross (3) Cheongdam Curling
Next Best 4, 11, 7
Fast Start 1, 5

 

Race 7: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million 

A progressive bunch of Korean-bred gallopers will line up in the seventh with six of the runners last start winners. (7) JILJUUI KKUM is one of those last start winners who saluted in impressive style over the 1200m last time out. The Archarcharch filly ran (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 20)

Racing got underway at Busan on Friday and the behind-closed-doors action moves to Seoul on Saturday with a 15-race card from 10:45 to 18:00. The ponies on Jeju will also resume. Here are the previews:

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

A field of twelve three-year-olds all having their first start will kick off proceedings as we return to Seoul for the first time in over four months. (5) GRACE QUEEN clocked a reasonable trial mid last month when running second. The filly coasted through the line nicely and wasn’t fully extended suggesting if she can find a few more lengths she will take some running down. The trial of (7) TEUNTEUNA was better than it looked to the naked eye. The Rock Hard Ten colt was beaten by a big margin but did clock a competitive time for this grade. Expect further improvement on the trial. (8) CAREER HIGH is worth considering in your selections. The Any Given Saturday filly ran midfield in her heat but ran through the line fairly, she will get the services of leading rider Moon Se-young. (1) GEORGE QUEEN won her trial but they dawdled early in the heat. The filly also hung out badly down the straight. She should be better for the run both physically and mentally.

Selections (5) Grace Queen (7) Teunteuna (8) Career High (1) George Queen
Next Best 2, 4
Fast Start 1, 5

 

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

Three-year-old maidens here with five of the twelve making their belated racecourse debuts. We’re going to go with one of those first-timers, (6) WINNER QUARDRILLE. The Gold Allure filly initially won a trial in January and then went through another in April where she gave champion Silver Wolf a good workout, running home 2nd in a useful time and if she brings that form to the races today, she can win. Also showing ability in trials was Luigi Riccardi’s (7) CHOEGO CAMP, a front-running winner of her heat in March and with every chance of going well first-up under Johan Victoire. As for those with experience, (2) FIGHTING NOW is a bit of an enigma. He ran well for 2nd on debut last October which led to him being sent off at odds-on for his reappearance in November. He got a bad trip and ended up in 7th which we will forgive, but he didn’t exactly impress in a March trial either so while he evidently has some talent, caution is required. (11) BURNING POINT and (12) SONGAM PLAYER both have 3rd places to their names and both performed a little better in their respective recent trials, although both have drawn closer to the car park than the rails.

Selections (6) Winner Quardrille (12) Songam Player (7) Choego Camp (2) Fighting Now
Next Best 11, 8
Fast Start 3, 7, 8

 

 Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Twelve Korean-bred gallopers line up in the third event all looking for their first win. (10) THUNDER K looks one of the main chances. The chestnut finished fourth on debut in December last year in a handy two-year-old event. The colt trialled in April clocking a good time on a dry track suggesting he is ready to fire first up. (8) BANGJU showed some improvement at his second start in January. The Into Mischief gelding hit the line fairly to finish third behind Songam Tiz. Whilst not the strongest form line this race is of similar strength. (11) GANA PARK debuts after a solid trial effort to finish second. She was beaten five lengths in the trial but clocked 62.8 on a dry track which will see her competitive in this event. (3) BALBATU lines up for his third career start. The Hansen colt placed at his most recent run before the racing hiatus over 1000m. The chestnut passed a few in the straight hitting the line well suggesting he will appreciate the 1200m for the first time.

Selections (10) Thunder K (8) Bangju (11) Gana Park (3) Balbatu
Next Best 12, 6
Fast Start 10, 11, 12

 

Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old fillies only for this maiden. (6) GLORY FIGHTER was sent off the odds-on favourite for what was her second start in January. She took a bump at the start and then hung inwards late on ultimately finishing in 3rd place. She didn’t impress when trialing in April but didn’t do too much wrong either and can be given another chance today. A more impressive recent trailer was (10) BLUE K. She’s shown plenty of speed as well, especially when running 3rd on what was her most recent racecourse appearance last October. The engagement of Kim Yong Geun is a plus and she’ll surely be a big factor. (12) OLD BLADE is one of very few horses at Seoul not to have trialed during the shutdown. She put in two solid if unspectacular performances around the turn of the year registering a 4th and a 3rd and can aim to match or better that here. (5) CHEONGDAM YEOGEOL also did nothing wrong on her debut last December and can push on today.

Selections (10) Blue K (6) Glory Fighter (5) Cheongdam Yeogeol (12) Old Blade
Next Best 7, 9
Fast Start 1, 10

 

Race 5: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million 

An even group of maiden Korean-bred gallopers will face the starter in the fifth. The race record of (11) CLEAN HEART does not read all that well to date but his trial suggests there may be improvement to come. The Artie Schiller colt clocked 62 seconds flat on a dry track and crossed the line with some handy types. The three-year-old was pushed out but ran it out strong and with fresh legs looks to be some value over the 1300m first up. (5) SANARAE is the most experience galloper in the race with eight starts under her belt. She has just the one minor placing from the eight starts but it did come over this distance towards the end of last year. She trialled in reasonable fashion in May where she finished third but appeared green when running up the straight. She gets one of her easiest assignments to date. Korean punters have sent (6) HANSEN CHOICE to the gates numerous times at a short quote and done their money every time. With no betting in Korea this weekend it would salt in the wound if the chestnut was to get up. She showed little in her trial but has previously showed ability over the short course and hence she is being included on a place line. (12) TYCHE FIRE looks the interesting galloper engaged from an improvement point of view. The Indie Band colt finished well back on debut in February but his trial in May was solid considering he was off the track throughout and still clocked 62.3 seconds on a dry track. The draw will do him no favours but he could be one that improves. This is a hard race and the likes of (3) THE BEAST, (7) GOLDEN SWITCH and (9) BIANCA could fill a place without surprising.

Selections (11) Clean Heart (5) Sanarae (6) Hansen Choice (12) Tyche Fire
Next Best 3, 9
Fast Start 3, 5, 6, 8

 

Race 6: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Just the one first-timer starter amongst this field of maidens but he looks useful. (8) E STRIKE ran on well across two trials and 1400M should suit first up. Jockey booking a plus and he has claims to start his career in the best possible way. (11) TOP SEED has a 2nd place to his name at this distance already and he has looked well in two very solid trial performances during the hiatus. He’ll go back at the start so the wide draw is no issue and he’ll run through the line strongly. Also with experience of the distance and also untroubled by the wide draw is (12) THE DREAM. He finished 4th to Top Seed’s 3rd when they raced each other at this distance on early February and he can get close once again today. It looks an open race beyond those with perhaps (1) YAHO M J CAT and (2) HAPPY MONTH being best of the rest although there is a lack of speed engaged so if something like (4) SIN ROK, who has at least shown some ability from the gate, could get an easy lead, then he may go close.

Selections (11) Top Seed (8) E Strike (12) The Dream (2) Happy Month
Next Best 1, 3, 4
Fast Start 4, 11

 

Race 7: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million 

Some progressive types line up in the seventh on the card where there is a host of winning chances. (3) ICE PUNCH was flying before the Covid hiatus scoring a dominant six length victory over the 1200m, which they line up over once again in this event. The dapple grey then did everything right in a barrier trial in April when overcoming a wide gate working to the front and winning under his own steam. The colt looks ready to fire first up and gets the services of Seoul’s leading rider in Moon Se-young. (2) GREAT KHAN is another who broke maiden status just before the racing hiatus. The Menifee colt clocked a good time when winning by a clear margin over the five furlongs. The query (more…)