Seoul

Segye Ilbo Trophy Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (January 29)

The Stakes race program for 2023 finally gets underway at Seoul on Sunday when Raon First and Raon The Spurt head the field for the Listed Segye Ilbo Trophy over 1200M. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:40 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 11:05 to 16:05. Here are the previews:

Raon First faces danger from her own stablemate in the Segye Ilbo Trophy (Pic: KRA)

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

Three-year-old maidens in the opener with all at least one start behind them and (10) TOUCH CHARM will be the warm favourite. She ran 3rd on debut over 1000M on November 26th before improving to 2nd on her next start on December 18th when stepped up to 1200M in filly only company. She comes up in trip again, and slightly in weight, but she should have too much. (8) NEULGAEUL is the only one in the field to have prior experience of this distance having finished a close 3rd on December 17th. That experience should stand him in good stead for this and he can be the main danger. (2) KARIZMA ran fairly enough for a midfield finish on debut over 1000M a month ago. He should have derived benefit from that and can improve today. (6) BEST CLONE returns after almost five months out and looked well in a trial earlier this month and along with (9) INDIANUI BYEOL, who began his career with a 2nd and a 3rd, can be considered for a place.

Selections(10) Touch Charm (8) Neulgaeul (2) Karizma (6) Best Clone
Next Best9, 11
Fast Start1, 3, 9, 10

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

(10) HWANGOO MONEY has come from well off the pace to run 3rd in both starts to date, both over 1200M and both from gate eleven. The wide draw certainly won’t be an issue and the additional half furlong should give him plenty of time to get the job done this time. (4) FAST GUN was anything but fast out of the gates on debut over 1000M on December 16th, but he finished off swiftly enough, passing plenty to finish 3rd. He should have come on for the run and he is another for who the extra distance can suit. (2) BRAVE CAPTAIN was much closer to the pace on her debut, scampering across from gate nine and ultimately running 4th over 1000M. With some natural improvement and from a better draw, she can match or better that today. (7) K GOLD BAR and others (9) SKY PUNCH are others who are in the placing hunt.

Selections(10) Hwangoo Money (4) Fast Gun (2) Brave Captain (7) K Gold Bar
Next Best9, 5
Fast Start2, 5, 6, 7

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

Three-year-old maidens with all but one racing for the very first time. That experienced one didn’t do anything on debut to warrant recommendation so it’s to the trial videos we turn and the one who caught the eye the most was (5) TAMRA CHOEGANGJA. He sat handy in his heat before finishing well to cross the line in front, stopping the clock in a fair time. If he brings that form to the races, he won’t need to improve much to win this. (3) FANCY PLAY recorded the second fastest time in trials when leading in a heat in early December, ultimately finishing 2nd. He draws well to be on pace here and should be in it a long way. (12) CHECK POINT went through the same trial as Tamra Choegangja and while he does have five-lengths to make up, he ran on well and neither the wide draw nor the trip should be a hindrance first-up. Speaking of the trip, that sole one with experience, (7) THIS WEEKEND was slowly away and with a better start and in the absence of too many standout first-timers, can improve. (9) COMPLETE LEADER another debut-maker to keep an eye on.

Selections(5) Tamra Choegangja (3) Fancy Play (12) Check Point (7) This Weekend
Next Best9, 1
Fast Start1, 3, 5, 8

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

(6) HANEUL JEWANG enters off an improved 2nd place at this distance on December 16th when settling handy and finishing well to record a time faster than any of the others here have managed for the distance. He should be on or close to the speed again and in this company, will be warm favourite to go one better. The main danger is (8) META QUEEN. She was 5th behind Haneul Jewang in that December race but at the start before registered a runner-up finish of her own when on pace over 1000M. This is just her fourth career start and there could be some more improvement. (9) WONDERFUL CHACHA ran an improved 4th on his latest outing over 1300M on December 2nd. An apprentice keeps the weight light and he be in the mix here too. (10) SKY SHOT and (4) UNJU MACH among other minor money contenders.

Selections(6) Haneul Jewang (8) Meta Queen (9) Wonderful Chacha (10) Sky Shot
Next Best10, 4
Fast Start6, 8, 10, 11

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

More three-year-old maidens with all but one of the twelve having raced at least once before. The debut-maker is notable though as he is set to be favourite. (3) JANGSAN SPO blitzed a trial in November, stopping the clock in a fast time some fourteen lengths clear of the next across the line. That showing, coupled with the modest opposition he faces here, makes him a heavy favourite, despite the big gap between trial and race. Only two of the experienced ones have positive form. (5) BEAT RUNNER is the clear second pick with a 6th and a 4th in two starts at 1000M and 1200M, the latter at this distance and both in fair times. A similar showing will see him place again. Draw a line through (4) MENI POCKET’s second appearance and instead go on her debut last summer and she is clear third choice although the length of time between starts isn’t reassuring. (8) CLAIR QUEEN and (11) GREEN SPECTER potential improvers.

Selections(3) Jangsan Spo (5) Beat Runner (4) Meni Pocket (8) Clair Queen
Next Best11, 12
Fast Start2, 3, 7, 11

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Tricky race. We’ll take a chance on (9) WITH SUN, who was a strong winner on debut over 1200M in November when coming from off the pace before running 4th in a slow race over this distance on his first try at this level. The wide draw shouldn’t be an issue and today there should be a bit more early speed to chase down. The probable favourite is (2) BACKTOTHELEGEND. He overcame the widest gate to get on pace over 1200M on Christmas Day and ultimately went on to win well. He is up in class and in distance here but draws much better and has solid claims. (3) BYEOLGYOUI KKUM was an all the way winner at start number two over 1200M on Christmas Day. He too comes up in class and distance but draws well to get on the speed again and should be in this a long way. (11) ALL OR NOTHING ran out an eye-catching winner on debut in December. It was at 1000M, but he can measure up here. (1) FASHION FORCE ONE another in the frame.

Selections(9) With Sun (2) Backtothelegend (3) Beolgyoui Kkum (11) All Or Nothing
Next Best1, 5
Fast Start3, 5, 6, 11

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Fillies (and two mares) here. There is very little to choose between the top two, both up in class following maiden wins. The coin toss comes down on the side of (3) WONDERFUL SLEW, who came from off the pace on debut over 1200M on December 18th to just get up to for the win. She comes up in trip here, but it can suit, and she can win. That’s true too for (5) JEOMSUNI GO. She was slowly away on debut over 1000M before rattling home late for a desperately near miss. She then took a very tight victory second-up at 1200M on Christmas Eve. She too comes up in class and distance and there is very little between them. If you fancy them both to get beat, then (11) GREENBACK maybe the place to turn. She has plenty of experience of this level and enters in consistent form. The draw isn’t ideal but with a touch of luck at the start, she can run on. (7) TOUR QUEEN and (6) DUSON CLASSIC, who was slowly away last time but should be on pace here, are others to consider.

Selections(3) Wonderful Slew (5) Jeomsuni Go (11) Greenback (7) Tour Queen
Next Best6, 1
Fast Start1, 6, 11, 12

Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(10) EUNSEONG WINNER ran out a strong winner at class and distance on December 23rd, settling just behind the early speed before taking things up at the top of the stretch and winning well. A word of caution in that she was found to have bled for the first time but she came through the mandatory trial earlier this month without issue. (8) ARCTURUS was 4th in that same race having led for much of the way in what was his first try at two turns. He has won well at a mile and can be a danger today. (6) HORAENGI is yet to win in fifteen attempts but has no fewer than twelve top five finishes including on her last start on Christmas Day when she came from well off the pace to run a close 2nd over a mile. She comes up in class here but is nicely weighted and has placed more than once at this distance already. (2) I WILL BE FREE and the rapidly up in class having won his latest two (1) MACH WONDER, are among plenty of others to consider.

Selections(10) Eunseong Winner (8) Arcturus (6) Horaengi (2) I Will Be Free
Next Best1, 5
Fast Start1, 8, 10, 12

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

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Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (January 28)

Saturday’s racing is at Seoul with a big 12-race meeting from 10:40 to 18:00. The feature race is the last with Simjangui Godong facing a stern challenge from Chief Indy, among others, at class 1 over 2000M. Here are the previews:

Former President’s Cup winner Simjangui Godong facess a tough ask at Seoul this Saturday (Pic: KRA)

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

Three-year-old maiden fillies here with seven of the twelve racing for the first time. Three of those with prior experience debuted in the same race over 1000M on Christmas Day and it was (6) SARYEONI TYCHE who came out the best among them, racing just off the speed throughout and finishing in 3rd place. She has claims to come out on top here. Just a length behind there wasn’t much between (5) GREEN SHIELD and (10) TOP TIER, who came home 6th and 4th respectively. Top Tier had led until the furlong pole before being passed and while she draws wide today, should have enough early speed to get a good position. She doesn’t have the apprentice claim but Kim Yong-geun climbing aboard should balance that. The extended trip though may see Green Shield in overturning that form. She was doing her best work late in that race. Among the first timers, (3) WHITE DIA and trial winner (9) HAEJAE YEOGEOL perhaps best.

Selections(6) Saryeoni Tyche (5) Green Shield (10) Top Tier (3) White Dia
Next Best9, 11
Fast Start3, 5, 6, 10

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

Three-year-old maidens all of whom have raced before though none at this distance. (6) ILDONG BAKSU has finished 3rd in both her prior starts, most recently  over 120M on Christmas Eve when handy throughout and finishing a length behind the odds-on favourite winner Jeomsuni Go. She’ll be exiting class 6 with any top-three finish and it could be a win. After a lot of trials (11) SINUI HAMSEONG ran well on debut on December 10th finishing 2nd over this distance to hot favourite J Motion. He was found to have bled after that so was stood down for a month and sent back to trial but he came through that successfully earlier in January and can go well again. (9) MONEY JANGGUN overcame a similarly wide draw to today to run 3rd over 1200M on November 19th. He also has a runner-up finish at 1000M to his name and can be a danger here. (5) FINE DAY and (10) HERO QUEEN others in the hunt.

Selections(6) Ildong Baksu (11) Sinui Hamseong (9) Money Janggun (5) Fine Day
Next Best10, 8
Fast Start1, 5, 6, 12

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

(5) ROCK IMPACT is the only one in the field who has raced at the distance before and it seemed to suit as he produced a much improved performance to run 2nd in a fair time on December 11th when settling just behind the speed and then running on. He won’t need to improve too much to go one better here. (7) MISS WIN STAR has steadily improved across his four outings to date, culminating in a runner-up finish over 1200M on December 17th when he led for a large part of the races. That was his first time on the speed and he may go forward again here. (11) GANGCHEOL YEOGEOL has been finishing off her races well, improving each time and she may benefit from the step up in trip. The wide draw shouldn’t be a problem and nor should it be for (10) ARCH MEMORY, another who has steadily improved and runs through the line well. The form drops off after that but in a race devoid of much early speed, (6) SINPUNG YEOGEOL may get an easier run to the front today and can be in this a long way at probable big odds. 

Selections(5) Rock Impact (7) Miss Win Star (11) Gangcheol Yeogeol (10) Arch Memory
Next Best6, 3
Fast Start2, 6, 7, 12

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

(11) ULTRA GALAXY has improved across his five starts so far with his latest over 1200M on Christmas Day being his best. He is yet to go further than that so this is a big step up but his running style – and today’s company – suggests he can be more than equal to the challenge. (7) HOUYHNHNM looked every much the perennial non-winner but capable of regularly picking up minor money, right up until his last start on January 7th when he stepped up to two turns for the first time and ran 2nd. It wasn’t a fast time, but he beat three of today’s rivals and won’t need to improve much to go close again. (4) STAR PRINCESS ran 3rd in that race, equalling her best finish so far. She went right back and ran on and with Johan climbing on today, may be further forward. (1) EUREKA and (5) SEMYEONG CAPTAIN are others with at least placing chances.

Selections(11) Ultra Galaxy (7) Houyhnhnm (4) Star Princess (1) Eureka
Next Best5, 12
Fast Start5, 8, 11, 12

Seoul Race 5: Class 3 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(5) HANGANGUI GISANG is a perfect four from four with his latest win coming on Christmas Eve when stepping up to class 3 for the first time, he made all to score by six-lengths over 1700M He comes up 3.5kg in the weights from that day but draws nicely enough at the unique mile start and he will be odds-on to strike again. (3) MIGHTY GOOD is on a win streak of his own, having taken his latest two both at class 4 and both over 1700M. He likes to come from off the pace so Antonio should be able to save some ground early while the others battle it out on the short run to the first corner. He is up in class but down significantly in weight and can measure up. Also down in weight is (1) DUSON MEONGGUN who benefits from an apprentice claim. He finished midfield behind Hangangui Gisang last time out but is a winner at this class over 1400M as well has holding a 3rd place at a mile. Don’t rule out a bold showing. (2) BYEOLUI SUNGAN is better than his latest two outings suggest and should be kept safe, while (9) YAHO GOLDEN CAT is another in the hunt.

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Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (January 15)

Sunday racing is at Seoul (11 races from 10:40 to 18:00) and at Busan (6 races from 11:05 to 15:40). A reminder there is no racing next weekend due to the Lunar New Year holiday so it is big fields all around. Here are the previews:

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

Three-year-old maiden fillies in the opener. (1) TIZ INDY has run twice for 2nd and 4th over 1000M both in good times. She comes up in trip for the first time but draws very nicely and she has every chance. (5) SAENAE VIVA debuted without distinction in August but looked a much better proposition when returning on December 3rd and running 3rd when handy throughout. She can get closer today and that can mean overturning the form on (11) JEONGSANG LUCKY. The latter overcame the same wide draw to run 2nd in that December 3rd race and while she may need a touch of luck again, she shouldn’t be ruled out. Also done no favours by the draw is (12) DASI TAEEONADO. She has a 2nd place to her name over 1000M and ran on pleasingly enough for 5th last time out at 1200M. (2) SEMYEONG LADY is among others with the potential to improve.

Selections(1) Tiz Indy (5) Saenae Viva (11) Jeongsang Lucky (12) Dasi Taeeonado
Next Best2, 5
Fast Start2, 3, 5, 6

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

Three-year-old filly maidens. The most experienced in the race is (10) DOCTOR SHARK and she’s the one that gets the pick. She secured back-to-back 3rd place finishes over 1000M and 1200M in October and November before running 5th over 1400M when drawn in the widest gate last time out on December 16th. The draw isn’t kind here either, but she may have too much. (12) WONDERFUL PHONE came from off the pace to run 2nd behind a good winner on debut on December 23rd. The way she finished off that day suggests the additional trip can suit and she will probably start as favourite. (7) SKY MOUNTAIN was an on-pace 4th on debut on December 9th over 1000M. She should have derived benefit from that experience and can be there or thereabouts today. (6) STREET ROCK didn’t do much on debut but comes in here under a very light weight and can improve. It’s a similar story with (1) TOO CUTE GIRL, who draws much better than on debut.

Selections(10) Doctor Shark (12) Wonderful Phone (7) Sky Mountain (6) Street Rock
Next Best1, 11
Fast Start7, 8, 10, 11

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

Three-year-old maidens with six of the twelve racing for the very first time. We’ll side with experience and (2) GEOMIBULU. After winning a November trial, she was installed as favourite for her debut appearance over 1000M on December 11th when she sat midfield in a small field and ran on for 2nd place. She was well beaten by a good winner, but the run was encouraging enough for her to warrant another chance on top here.  Among the first timers (11) SAEBYEOK ANGAE could be the best. She improved significantly in her second trial, running on well and can be set for a bold showing first up. (7) DONGHAENG FIRST debuted promisingly enough on December 17th running 4th over 1000M. She should have derived benefit from that and build on it here. Both (3) NAVY CHROME and (6) THUNDER BLUE return to action for the first time since July. Both trialled well and can be considered first-up.

Selections(2) Geomibulu (11) Saebyeok Angae (7) Donghaeng First (3) Navy Chrome
Next Best6, 9
Fast Start2, 3, 7, 9

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

(7) PHANTOM ACE is yet to win in eleven attempts but has been getting closer in recent outings with a 2nd and a 3rd in his latest two, both at this distance. With an apprentice claiming 4kg he is very nicely weighted here, and it could be his day. (2) MULTI HIT comes in off a 4th place at start number two at this distance on December 11th when handy throughout. He draws well again and can be dangerous here. (1) YEONGGWANGUITUHON has run fairly in all three appearances to date including a spin around in the Listed Gimhae Mayor’s Trophy. From a great draw, he should be right in this. (5) CHEERFUL LIFE can build on his debut5th place over 1000M when breaking fairly before going right back and running on. He draws better today and should be better for the run. (8) GLOBAL SKY among others with the potential to improve.

Selections(7) Phantom Ace (2) Multi Hit (1) Yeonggwanguituhon (5) Cheerful Life
Next Best8, 11
Fast Start5, 6, 8, 12

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

Three-year-old filly maidens. It’s fair to say that (12) CHEONJON CHAT has mixed her form across six starts so far but she gets the nod here based on her last start 2nd place over this distance on December 18th when she was on pace and finished in a time quicker than any of the others have managed for the distance. She draws wide but with a touch of luck at the start, she’ll be the one to beat. (6) RAON CITY GIRL comes up in trip for the first time. She too has mixed her form, but she did post a very quick time over 1000M when 3rd in November. She should be on pace here and the additional furlong can suit. (4) TANSAN comes in after a best finish to date of 3rd place in that December 18th race when settling slightly worse than midfield and finishing well. She has five-lengths to make up on Cheonjon Chat but can get closer with a much better draw. (2) BLUE ARCH and (5) SEOULEUL NALDA among others in at least the placing frame.

Selections(12) Cheonjon Chat (6) Raon City Girl (4) Tansan (2) Blue Arch
Next Best5, 8
Fast Start2, 6, 7, 12

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(11) FINAL SEVEN overcame gate ten to get on pace and run 2md behind Young Boss on his first try at this class over 1400M on December 16th. He steps up to a mile for the first time today but looks a progressive type with just four starts behind him and an apprentice jockey aboard brings his weight right down. (8) CHANGCHANG DAERO also steps up to a mile for the first time. He has only raced four times but has a smart win over 1200M as well as a last start 3rd at this class over 1400M to his name. He looks to have scope for more. (9) GREEN PAPAGO has beaten a few of these in her latest appearances, all at a mile. The wide draw shouldn’t be a problem and she can be a big factor here. (3) QUEEN OF SPIRIT, who beat Changchang Daero at 1400M last time out, and (7) QUEEN STAR among plenty of others capable of placing.

Selections(11) Final Seven (8) Changchang Daero (9) Green Papago (3) Queen Of Spirit
Next Best7, 1
Fast Start2, 8, 10, 11

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

There isn’t much positive form here. (4) SUBAL DORIANG come sin off a 2nd place over this distance on December 17th when handy throughout. It continued a pattern of him getting closer and is enough to put him on top here. (12) MY GONGJU was touch disappointing when stepped up to 1700M last time and well backed. Drawn wide he was unable to find a position on the short run to the first turn and scarcely figured. Go on his previous start at this trip though and he is firmly in this. (7) DESIRE TO WIN came home in 4th place behind Subal Doriang in that December 17th race. He has steadily improved across four starts so far and if he can maintain that momentum, can be in the mix here. (2) GHOST CHARM and (8) EFFEL TAP among others in the hunt. 

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Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (January 14)

There has been plenty of rain across the country over the past day or so and that’s set to continue into the weekend. On the plus side, the temperatures should be very mild compared to last week’s arctic blast. Saturday’s racing is at Seoul with 12 races from 10:40 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

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

Three-year-old maidens in the opener with just three of them having raced before. (6) ORCHID VALLEY overcame gate ten and a slow start on debut over 1000M on December 17th to run 2nd in a good time. He should have come on for the run and the way he worked home suggests that the additional furlong will be to his benefit. (5) PEERLESS also came from off the pace on debut, running 3rd in an all-filly race over 1000M. She too should have derived benefit from that run and can go close here. Of the newcomers, (3) MIR QUALITY looks the pick. He made all in his trial and while the time was not quick, he was within himself, and a bold showing is possible first-up. (12) FLY DAY is done no favours by the draw but showed well in his heat and can be considered. (4) CUPID CHIC can build on her 7th place on debut in November.

Selections(6) Orchid Valley (5) Peerless (3) Mir Quality (12) Fly Day
Next Best4, 7
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 12

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

More three-year-old maidens although all of these have raced at least once before. (3) NAOL GONI will be favourite having run 4th on debut and then followed up with 2nd on his reappearance on December 17th when he led almost the entire way around. He draws well to be on pace again, the additional half furlong should pose no issues, and he should go one better here. (8) RAON THE CHARLIE has been showing steady progress across three starts so far, culminating in 3rd place at his latest on December 10th when settling right back and running on. That was his first try at 1200M and stretching out further today should help. (5) LEGAL HIGH used up plenty of energy getting to the front from a wide draw last time out and then weakened but should get an easier run here. (10) SEONGEUN CROWN and (12) SAVANA CHARLIE the other logical place chances.

Selections(3) Naol Goni (8) Raon The Charlie (5) Legal High (10) Seongeun Crown
Next Best12, 4
Fast Start2, 3, 5, 11

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

(3) BAEDAERI WANGJA has been consistent across four starts so far and while his 2nd place on debut over 1000M may be his best finish, he has run on well in his latest two, finishing 4th both times over 1200M. There isn’t much early speed here so from a good draw he may well be closer to the pace than usual, and this could be his day. (1) BADAUI KKUM has been knocking on the door in his latest few appearances. He can settle handy here and should be running on into some money again. (5) POWERFUL SOCKS stepped up to this distance for the first time on December 12th and it seemingly suited as he was an on-pace 2nd on a fast time. He will surely be on the speed here and will be in this a long way. (9) BOSS BABY and (8) STAND BY ME are others in at least the placing hunt.

Selections(3) Baedari Wangja (1) Badaui Kkum (5) Powerful Socks (9) Boss Baby
Next Best8, 11
Fast Start2, 3, 5, 7

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

It’s hard to go far past (1) STRENGTH here. After a fast 4th on debut over 1000M, he came up to this trip for his second start on December 17th and ran a close 3rd, sitting handy throughout. He draws well to be on the pace, and it would be a surprise if he didn’t lead from gate to wire. The form of the rest is patchy, to say the least. (10) MIGHTY SSEN has hinted at ability in two efforts over 1000M. He has finished off both times well and may appreciate the step up in trip today. (3) SMARTY GLORY managed a 2nd place two starts back over 1000M, working home strongly. She never got going after a slow start on her first try at this distance on December 18th but is worth another chance here. (7) FIRST CHOUX returns to action following six months out and trialled fairly enough to suggest he can beat plenty of these. (2) RAON JUMP another with the potential to improve.

Selections(1) Strength (10) Mighty Ssen (3) Smarty Glory (7) First Choux
Next Best2, 12
Fast Start1, 5, 9, 12

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

(10) BULGOM MADRE remains a maiden but comes up in class having finished as runner-up on both starts to date, only narrowly going down last time out over this distance. This isn’t the most intimidating class 5 field and while she draws wide, she doesn’t need to lead and has every chance of measuring up. (4) NAOL CHEONJI was a winner on debut and followed up with a 3rd place on her first try at this level in November. She couldn’t follow up at 1300M on December 10th but even so, she still finished ahead of a couples of today’s rivals and that’s enough to put her in contention here. (11) COMPLETE FORCE also beat a couple on his first try at the level. That came when on pace over 200M on November 20th and finishing 5th. The draw is not ideal as he seems to prefer to be on the seed but with a touch of luck at the start, he can be a danger. (12) GEOMEUN JILJU and (2) RIVER TAEYANG among others who can enter the calculations.

Selections(10) Bulgom Madre (4) Naol Cheonji (11) Complete Force (12) Geomeun Jilju
Next Best2, 3
Fast Start1, 4, 11, 12

Seoul Race 6: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Fillies (and two mares) only here. (4) EINSPANNER was a coast-to-coast winner on debut over 1000M on December 11th and while up in both class and distance today, both can be overcome and she can maintain her 100% record, probably from on pace again. This isn’t an easy race though. (3) BURUI KKOT is yet to win in nine starts but has eight top0five finishes including a last start 2nd at class and distance on December 17th. She comes up in the weights today but draws well and it’s not impossible that today could be her day. (8) HIDDEN BLADE enters off a desperately close 2nd place at class and distance on November 5th. She too comes up in the weights, but a similar run will put her firmly in the mix again. (12) CONCORD QUEEN and (5) HUIMANG GADEUK others in the frame.

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Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (January 8)

Sunday sees cards at both Seoul (11 races from 10:40 to 18:00) and at Busan (6 races from 11:05 to 15:40).Here are the previews:

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

Three-year-old maidens in the opener with five of the twelve racing for the first time. Having won a trail, (1) CHOEGANG HYEONMA was sent off as favourite over this distance on debut back in October but having drawn the widest gate, he never really found a run and ultimately finished in 5th. Nevertheless, there was nothing particularly wrong with the run and from a much better draw, he won’t need to improve much to win this. The others with experience haven’t offered much so it’s to the first timers that we look for danger. (2) FEDERAL PRESS ran on strongly for cross the line 2nd in his heat having emerged from gate eleven. The he finished off suggests 1200M can suit first up and he draws well. (10) FIRST USER clocked the fastest time of the debut-makers and that brings him into contention. (12) GLOBAL JINGYEOK actually won his heat, albeit in a slow time and he too warrants consideration. Returning to experience, (8) THE ROCK SUNSHINE looks the most likely to improve.

Selections(1) Choegang Hyeonma (2) Federal Press (10) First User (12) Global Jingyeok
Next Best8, 7
Fast Start1, 4, 7, 10

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

Three-year-old maidens with four of the twelve racing for the first time. There are three standouts, and they all have experience. Without a huge amount of confidence, we’ll side with (4) JEONGMUN SPECTER. His one run to date was back in August when he led over 1000M, ultimately finishing 4th in a fair time. He was given an easy time in a December trial, and he draws well here. He can win first-up. (8) MIRACLE ONE looks to be the danger. He finished 4th on debut over 1000M on November 11th running on well. The additional furlong can suit, and he has every chance. (12) SUCCESS MOCCA dead-heated for 3rd on his debut at 1000M on November 4th when handy throughout. He draws wide but with a touch of luck at the start to find a position, he is in this. Of the first-time starters, (3) HANEUL BULPAE and (7) GOOD MAGIC look the most probable to make an immediate impact.

Selections(4) Jeongmun Specter (8) Miracle One (12) Success Mocca (3) Haneul Bulpae
Next Best7, 11
Fast Start3, 4, 5, 7

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

More maiden three-year-olds. (2) KKUMUI SUNGAN shapes as the one to beat based on a quick debut on November 6th over 1000M when settling midfield and running on. With some natural improvement here, has every chance. (4) GEUMSEONG SIDAE ran 4th behind Kkumui Sungan in November and then went even faster when finishing 2nd over the five furlongs at start number three on December 4th. He has handy throughout and it’s not impossible that he could overturn the form today. (1) NAOL SIDAE was perhaps not ready and suffered an injury when debuting last July. He was put away after that but reappeared in a trial at the start of December looking sharp and fast. He draws well on the inside and can be on the pace and in this a long way. (9) ARGO GONGJU and (7) WONDERFUL TIZZY among others in the hunt in a competitive race.

Selections(2) Kkumui Sungan (4) Geumseong Sidae (1) Naol Sidae (9) Argo Gongju
Next Best7, 12
Fast Start1, 2, 4, 9

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Maiden fillies and mares. (4) MYEONGSEONG CHARGE will be the favourite, and a short one at that. This will be her eighth start and she has managed six top-five finishes. She comes in off a 3rd place over this distance on November 25th having led for most of the way and finished in a fast time. She should have too much. (7) STORM AGAIN also has six top-fives in her record, in her case from eight prior starts. She comes up in trip having run on strongly for 3rd last time out and while she comes up in weight too, she can offer a stern test. (6) GOLDEN RACER and (10) TWOTWO FLYING came home 2nd and 3rd respectively when they raced each over at 1200M on December 9th. Both should be in at least the placing fame today. (12) DUBAI PYEONGJEONG another in the hunt.

Selections(4) Myeongseong Charge (7) Storm Again (6) Golden Racer (10) Twotwo Flying
Next Best12, 5
Fast Start5, 8, 9, 10

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

Fillies and mares only for this maiden. (1) GOLDEN LUCKY has steadily improved across four starts so far, culminating in a 2nd place over 1200M on December 4th when she was handy throughout. She stays at almost the same weight, draws inside and the additional half furlong can see her home on top. (12) CUPID CHAMP is the main danger. She has finished 2nd and 5th in two outings to date, both at 1000M and both in fast times. She comes up in trip by a furlong and a half but that shouldn’t be a problem with the only downside being the wide draw. If she can find a good position, she can win. There is a solitary debut-maker. (4) HANGAWI SEONMUL went through two trials in December improving in the second of them. This is a great race to start off in and from a good draw and some natural improvement out of the trials, a bold showing could be in store. (9) BLUE KAISER and (2) WIDAEHAN HANMA are others in the placing frame.

Selections(1) Golden Lucky (12) Cupid Champ (4) Hangawi Seonmul (9) Blue Kaiser
Next Best2, 7
Fast Start2, 7, 11, 12

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Tricky race. (6) PISTOL STAR got a long way back after a troubled start in the Breeders’ Cup champion juvenile race on December 4th and although he made good late ground, he ran out of track and finished in 8th place. He has raced over 1800M so he won’t be surprised by anything here and it wasn’t a hugely strong field, he may win. (9) ADELE ALLIE’S also remains a maiden but there are grounds to be optimistic on his first try around two turns. He comes in having run 2nd and 3rd in his latest two over 1300M, finishing off well and it may just suit. (4) NEW CROWN got his solitary win at class and distance three starts back in October, beating a couple of today’s rivals. The time was slow, but he has gone faster and warrants respect here. (10) MONEY CASE and (5) O.K. THUNDER among others in the hunt.

Selections(6) Pistol Star (9) Adele Allie’s (4) New Crown (10) Money Case
Next Best5, 2
Fast Start2, 7, 6, 10

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

(3) BAEKDU BOY is clear favourite to breakthrough here. He had been posting good times at 1000M and then stepped up to this distance on November 19th and ran 2nd, well beaten by a good winner but stopping the clock faster than any of the others here who have tackled 1200M. He draws well to be on pace or handy and may take some beating. (4) GOOD SIMON hinted at some ability at start number three, when running on for 4th. She comes up in trip for the first time and the way she has finished off her races suggests it is about time. (1) EXPECT ran fairly from a wide gate over this distance on debut in November. The draw is better here and with some natural improvement for that experience, he can be expected to get closer. (5) FOUR ACE and (11) WHITE WITCH others in the minor money frame.

Selections(3) Baekdu Boy (4) Good Simon (1) Expect (5) Four Ace
Next Best11, 7
Fast Start3, 5, 6, 12

Busan Race 4: Class 4 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(9) LANE KILLER returned from eight months out on December 18th and ran a creditable 6th of eleven at class and distance. He has won over 1800M before and should strip fitter for that performance. He can return to winning ways here. (10) WONDERFUL WORLD comes in following a smart win at this class distance on December 11th when settling back and running on, leaving a couple of today’s rivals back down the track. He joins Lane Killer at tope weights and could prove the main danger. (12) WIND WINNER came up in class after a 3rd and a 2nd at 1800M in September and October. He showed he can fit in at this level with 4th over a mile at his latest outing and despite the wide draw, he can go close here. (7) LIGHT STORY and (5) GREAT DANCE among others who can be competitive.

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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.

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Christmas Day Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (December 25)

Every restaurant booked out in Seoul for Christmas? Plenty of space at the racecourse! Both thoroughbred tracks are in action as usual on Christmas Day with 11 races at Seoul and 6 in Busan. With racing taking a break next weekend, it’s the final meetings of 2022. Here are the previews:

Gwacheon Mayor’s Trophy winner Raon Giant is in action in the concluding race of the year at Seoul (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens with ten of them fillies and all twelve racing for the very first time. Based on trials (11) CHILSAN DAEGYO will be a warm favourite. She made all in her heat, stopping the clock in a fast time and while she draws a touch wider than ideal, any improvement on that, will make her hard to beat. Another trial winner is (7) MUNHAK CENTRAL and she will be second favourite. She too led from gate to wire and while her time wasn’t as fast as that of Chilsan Daegyo (in a different heat on the same day), if she brings that form to the races, she can go well first up. (10) BARAMUI HYANGGI registered a time in her trial that while not on the fast side, suggested some potential and she will probably be the next in the market. (4) CHOEGANG NICE and (3) GREEN SHIELD others who can stamp their authority on debut.

Selections(11) Chilsan Daegyo (7) Munhak Central (10) Baramui Hyanggi (4) Choegang Nice
Next Best3, 6
Fast Start4, 6, 7, 11

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

Juvenile fillies but a rare race at class 4 level which gives the imports (imported horses must begin at class 4) a rare chance to compete. Four of these raced one another in a very similar event on October 30th and the winner that day was the appropriately named (3) RACE WINNER, who settled handy early and proved too strong. The weight conditions are the same, the gate if anything is better, and she can win again. (4) MIGHTY Q was 2nd in that October 30th race sitting on the heels of Race Winner until the closing stages. She has four lengths to overturn on that day’s winner but can get closer here.  (7) MEDICI WOLF has beaten a few of these across two starts so far and can accordingly be backed to do similar. Most significantly her latest outing saw her run 3rd in the Listed Gwacheon Mayor’s Trophy and a similar run will put her firmly in the mix. (2) BS POWER and (9) LOTUSMIREU others who can go close in a competitive race.

Selections(3) Race Winner (4) Mighty Q (7) Medici Wolf (2) BS Power
Next Best9, 5
Fast Start2, 3, 5, 8

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens with two standouts. (4) BADEN BADEN was an on-pace 2nd on debut over 1000M on November 26th. She was well-beaten by the standout winner Phoenix Serve but it was an encouraging first outing nonetheless and from a good gate and under a light weight, she can be on pace here and has every chance. Her rival for favourite status is (9) BULGOM MADRE. After winning a trial in October, she debuted on December 12th and having sat in midfield in the early stages of the 1000M test, she ran on strong to just go down by a neck, traveling significantly quicker than the winner. The additional furlong should suit, and she has every chance.  There are four first time starters. Among them (7) NAOL JEONGSANG trialled pleasingly enough, running 2nd in a fair – if unspectacular – time. This is a nice race to debut in and he has a chance. Another debut-maker, (6) SMARTY FIGHTER, along with the second-up (2) LUCKY BOUNCE are others who can enter the calculations.

Selections(4) Baden Baden (9) Bulgom Madre (7) Naol Jeongsang (6) Smarty Fighter
Next Best2, 8
Fast Start3, 4, 6, 12

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens with only two of the twelve having previous racing experience. They are going to be the two leading contenders in the market though as they both raced well. (4) BLUE MORE will be hot favourite. He was an on-pace 2nd on debut over this distance on November 27th, well beaten by a good winner but well clear of the rest. He draws well and with some natural improvement may take some beating. (12) BACKTOTHELEGEND also debuted over this distance in a different race on November 27th. He settled midfield and ran on for 3rd in a good time and is set to be the main danger here. As for the first-timer starters, a few did enough in trials to suggest they can compete for places. (9) KING OF THE YEAR was on pace in his heat and stopped the clock in a good time while (3) EVERY KING IJI and (7) SMILE KING also did enough to suggest they should be kept safe.

Selections(4) Blue More (12) Backtothelegend (9) King Of The Year (3) Every King Iji
Next Best 
Fast Start 

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

Juvenile fillies and on the final day of a season which have seen the Raon Organisation dominate, the appropriately named (3) RAON EMPIRE will be hotly favoured to win. She was favourite on debut over 1000M on November 13th but while she overcame gate ten to get to an eventual handy position, she could only manage 3rd. She should have come on for that run and from a much better gate, will be hard to beat. Second favourite will be (9) HERO QUEEN She has gone right back on both starts so far but rallied very well at her latest to run 3rd over this distance eon November 26th. The wide draw won’t be a problem and she will be challenging late. (12) ANYANG POKKYEOKGI was an improved 3rd in a quick time at start number two over 1000M on November 12th and may appreciate the step up in trip here. (10) AMAN BAROWS and (11) TAURUS QUEEN join the ranks of those drawn wide to be in the hunt.

Selections(3) Raon Empire (9) Hero Queen (12) Anyang Pokkyeogi (10) Aman Barows
Next Best11, 7
Fast Start3, 5, 10, 11

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

Juvenile fillies with five of the eleven racing for the first time. Both (1) GANGSEO GIANT and (2) ALPHA THOR come out of the Gyeongnam Do Min Ilbo Trophy where Alpha Thor was the best of them in 5th to Gangseo Giant’s 8th. Coming back in trip, they look set to battle out the honours here with Gangseo Giant sightly favoured to overturn the form. (3) CARPE BABEL debuted in the Do Min Ilbo Trophy, which was always going to be a tough ask first-up and from a wide gate she wasn’t a factor. She had previously won a trial in good order and it’s fair to give her a fresh start today. Among the first-time starters, (7) JOY JUNMA and (10) MACH BULLET perhaps have the best chance of making an immediate impact.

Selections(1) Gangseo Giant (2) Alpha Thor (3) Carpe Babel (7) Joy Junma
Next Best10, 8
Fast Start2, 3, 9, 10

Seoul Race 5: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

More maidens and it’s hard to look past (10) POWERFUL HWASEONG. That’s based on two of his latest three outings when 3rd and 2nd over this distance in times that were both faster than anything else here has achieved. He has a decent finish on him and doesn’t need to lead so the wide draw is of little concern, and at start number five, he looks ready to win. The main danger is (6) DONGBANG SAGI. She enters off an improved 2nd place over 1300M on November 27th when on pace throughout and beaten only by a good favourite. She’ll be on the speed again here and can be in this a long way. (4) CAMINO has only raced once, finishing midfield over 1300M on November 20th. He should strip fitter for that experience and can go closer today. (12) ULTRA GALAXY and (2) WINNER DRAGON are among others in the frame.

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Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 24)

Christmas Eve racing is in Seoul with 10 races from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Hangang Ace is back Seoul on Christmas Eve (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens in the opener with nine of the twelve having prior racing experience. (2) YUKWAEHAN SARANG won a trial before running 2nd on debut over 1000M and then 4th when tried at this distance on November 27th, settling handy and running on well. She is the only one in the field to have tackled the 1200M before and it can stand her in good stead here. Probable favourite is (1) JEOMSUNI GO. Underwhelming in trials, she was sent off at big odds-on debut over 1000M on November 27th but defied that to run a very close 3rd in a very fast time having been slowly away and settling back. The additional furlong should suit, and she has a big chance here. (3) INDIANUI BYEOL has run well for 2nd and 3rd in two prior outings, both over the 1000M. Last time out he drew gate ten and settled midfield but from a better draw he can be expected to be on the speed here and in this a long way. (12) DAEWANG SOCKS and (6) ILDONG BAKSU offered signs of ability on their respective debuts and can feature here too.

Selections(2) Yukwaehan Sarang (1) Jeomsuni Go (3) Indianui Byeol (12) Daewang Socks
Next Best6, 11
Fast Start1, 3, 6, 8

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

More juvenile maidens and (4) DAEBAK SOCKS looks to be the one to beat. He ran 4th on debut and then 3rd on his second start on November 27th when leading almost the entire way around over 1000M, stopping the clock in a quick time and only narrowly beaten. The extended trip should pose no problems and from another good draw, he can be on pace again and this time go all the way. (5) SUPER FINISH is the logical second pick. After an ordinary debut, he has run 2nd and 3rd over five-furlongs, showing on pace both times. He too draws well to get forward and he can be a danger. Neither (12) LEMON BLADE nor (10) ARGO MUJEOK are done any favours by the draw, but it may be less of a hindrance for Lemon Blade. Both enter off encouraging last start showings. (2) GHOST CHARM another in the placing frame.

Selections(4) Daebak Socks (5) Super Finish (12) Lemon Blade (10) Argo Mujeok
Next Best2, 9
Fast Start1, 4, 5, 10

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

It took him a few goes to figure things out but (8) UCHEONGRYUNG has been knocking on the door in his latest three with two 4th places and a 2nd, all in good times at 1200M and 1300M. He settles handy or midfield and runs on, although with not much early speed here, he may well be on pace, and he won’t need to improve very much to win. (5) ARCH MEMORY has five top-five finishes from seven appearances although is yet to feature in the first-two. She comes in off a solid 3rd place over this distance on November 19th when she settled midfield and ran on strong and under the same weight and from a good gate, she can go close again. (12) MIR POINT has run solid times over 1000M and comes in off a last start runner-up finish on November 12th. It’s his first time at further than the minimum distance today and he can be competitive although may need a touch of luck from the start from the wide gate. (2) SEMYEONG CAPTAIN and (9) CHIMING BOY others in the minor money hunt.

Selections(8) Ucheongryung (5) Arch Memory (12) Mir Point (2) Semyeong Captain
Next Best9, 6
Fast Start5, 8, 10, 12

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(4) GOLDEN HONOR has only finished outside of the top-four on one occasion and while a win remains elusive, he has put in some solid performances at this class and last time out, at this distance. He has tended to get a bit far back in his races, but he runs on well and so long s he doesn’t leave himself too much to do, he is the one to beat here. (3) ECHO ZONE has only won once but has been a model of consistency with eight top-five finishes. He comes in off a good 2nd place over 1400M at this class and his win came over this distance. This isn’t impossible for him. (10) SINUI BANJEON has three runner-up finishes from five starts including her latest at this class and distance on November 27th. She is nicely weighted here, the draw shouldn’t be problematic, and she rates as a chance. (5) GEOLJAK DREAM and the up in class (8) MAUIWAY are others in the frame.

Selections(4) Golden Honor (3) Echo Zone (10) Sinui Banjeon (5) Geoljak Dream
Next Best8, 9
Fast Start3, 5, 6, 8

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

(1) SOMETHING LOST was a winner on debut over 1000M in a fast time (beating Jeomsuni Go from race 1). He comes up in class and up in distance here but neither of those should be an issue and he will be a warm favourite to maintain his 100% record. Except on debut, (3) GLOBAL POWER hasn’t finished outside the top four. He enters having beaten a couple of these on his way to 3rd place when overcoming a wide gat at this class and distance on November 27th. The draw is more favourable today and he can go close. (10) BEST TORCH showed promise earlier this year but hasn’t raced since finishing in midfield in the Luna Stakes, the first leg of the Triple Tiara, back in April. She has two runner-up finishes at this class and distance though and looked well when coming through a November trial in a decent time. She can go well first-up. (8) HUIMANG CHAMP and the up in class (12) SPRING WATER are among others who can enter the calculations.

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Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (December 18)

Sunday’s racing is at Seoul (11 races from 10:45 to 18:00) and at Busan (6 races from 12:15 to 16:40). The program at both tracks includes a number of trophy races for big prize money as part of the Retired Racehorse Benefit day. These are essentially just normal races at between class 5 and class 3 level (as noted below in the comments). Here are the previews:

Race 5 at Busan marks Winner’s Man’s Korea Cup and Grand Prix victories (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile filly maidens in the opener and there are plenty of promising ones among them. Stepping up to 1200M for the first time, (9) MAESTRA gets the nod. She was 3rd in both her previous starts, both at 1300M, first by leading and then by settling back and running on. Moon Se-young continues aboard and today can be her day. (11) NAOL HAENGBOK ran 2nd in a fast time on a wet track over 1000M on debut on November 13th settling handy and running on. She draws a touch wide for comfort here, but the trip can suit, and she can challenge. (1) TOUCH CHARM is the big winner from the draw. She was a strong 3rd on debut over 1000M on November 26th and is another who can appreciate the additional furlong. Plenty of others in the hunt including (7) DASI TAEEONADO and the first-time starter and trial winner (4) WONDERFUL SLEW.

Selections(9) Maestra (11) Naol Haengbok (1) Touch Charm (7) Dasi Taeeonado
Next Best4, 2
Fast Start1, 5, 11, 9

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

(3) CHOEGANG MIRAE debuted without distinction back in April and then didn’t return until the end of October, only beating two home over 1300M. He had won a trial just the week before in a quick time demonstrating that he has some speed and was an improved 5th when tried at this distance on December 3rd. He draws much better here and third-up this could be his day. (4) TWO ACE has a runner-up finish to his name over this distance two starts back when coming from off the pace and followed up with a 4th at his most recent outing. An apprentice takes 3kg off his back and he should be going close. (8) MIRACLE K beat a couple of these on her way to 4th at this distance on November 20th having led for much of the way around and that’s enough to bring her into contention here. (12) DAESEUNG GAON and (9) GOLD KAISER among others in the minor money hunt.

Selections(3) Choegang Mirae (4) Two Ace (8) Miracle K (12) Daeseung Gaon
Next Best9, 5
Fast Start3, 5, 8, 9

Seoul Race 3: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

After three consecutive runner-up finishes, it’s about time (11) PURGE DAY won. He has finished 2nd from the front, as he did two starts back at class level, and he has finished 2nd settling back after a slow start and running on, as he did on his first try at this class on October 29th. That latter performance was fast and suggests the wide draw won’t be an issue as he steps up to this distance for the first time. (7) MENI ACE comes up in class and in distance following a maiden win over 1200M on November 12th when for the first time he was on or close to the pace throughout. He carries a light weight, can sit handy here and can run on to challenge again. (10) TOHO SKY comes in having finished a respectable midfield in Listed Nonghyup Chairman’s Cup for juveniles a month ago. He had previously run out a winner in a good time at 1200M and should go close in this company. (2) BICHUICA and (9) WONDERFUL INDY are among others in at least the placing frame.

Selections(11) Purge Day (7) Meni Ace (10) Toho Sky (2) Bichuica
Next Best9, 6
Fast Start3, 6, 10, 12

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maiden fillies open proceedings on the south coast with five of the twelve racing for the first time. (2) SPECIAL ROAD is the favourite, having run 2nd on debut on November 25th over 1000M, having previously run a similarly quick time in a trial. She draws well, carries a very light weight and the additional furlong can suit. The biggest threat looks to be one of the first-time starters. (1) ACE HORANGI won her trial in double quick time, leading all the way. She draws the same inside gate for her first race start and won’t need to improve much on the trial to go very close. (5) MY MANTRA ran on pleasingly enough for 5th place in a good time on debut at 1000M on November 11th and with some natural improvement can go closer today. Debut-makers (11) NEXT MARINE and (6) AMAZING MOVE are others capable of putting in bold showings first-up.

Selections(2) Special Road (1) Ace Horangi (5) My Mantra (11) Next Marine
Next Best6, 12
Fast Start1, 2, 5, 11

Seoul Race 4: Class Open (1600M) Allowance / KRW 150 Million

(9) MACH STAR is favoured here. A maiden winner at start number two over 1200M at class 6 level on October 23rd, she than ran a good 2nd over that same distance on her first try at this level on November 19th. She has shown herself able to come from off the pace so the big step up in trip may be to her advantage and she is the one to beat. Plenty of others come in with recent form reading well. Chief among those is (8) LUCKY POWER, who was an also-ran in the Munhwa Ilbo Trophy in October but ran on well for 2nd over 1300M at this class on November 6th. He is another who can appreciate the additional trip and can be considered. (1) NUT PLAY started his career well but his latest two have seen him first get a long way back from a wide gate and then have a hard time in the Listed Nonghyup Chairman’s Trophy. From the inside draw and against more amenable company, he will have fewer excuses here. (4) HWARANG TODAY and (7) ROSE GOLD are among others to consider.

Selections(9) Mach Star (8) Lucky Power (1) Nut Play (4) Hwarang Today
Next Best7, 5
Fast Start2, 4, 8, 10

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

An extremely ordinary maiden which sees (8) SPECIAL JOHN, who has raced thirteen times and is yet to finish in the top-two, as the favourite. He has been getting better of late though, with two 3rd places and a 4th from his latest three and in the process set a time for this distance almost a full second faster than anything else here that has tackled the 1200M has managed. He won’t get a better chance than today to make the breakthrough. (2) MORNING MUSE comes back in trip and shapes as the logical danger having been on pace and then faded in her latest outings at further. She is up in the weights but that’s balanced by a good gate. The form, such that is, falls off after that with (7) WIDAEHAN SEONTAEK and (6) SPEED MAST the only others to have respectable showings among their most recent appearances which is enough to bring them into play here. (10) VELOCIRAPTOR did at least run on at start two over 1000M last time so may go better at this trip but is hardly convincing.

Selections(8) Special John (2) Morning Muse (7) Widaehan Seontaek (6) Speed Mast
Next Best10, 5
Fast Start2, 5, 6, 11

Seoul Race 5: Class Open (1700M) Allowance (Rating 1-35) / KRW 150 Million

Competitive race here. (12) WONDERFUL JOY overcame the widest gate to sit handy and then run on to win at class 5 level (which is essentially what this is), with three of today’s rivals behind him over this distance on November 12th. The set weight scale means he only comes up 1kg and that, combined with the widest gate again, might not be enough to prevent him winning again. (2) SPO BLADE is turning into a useful type. He got his maiden win at class 6 level two starts back over 1200M before running 2nd at 1300M on his first try at class 5 on November 19th. He has proven tactically versatile at the shorter distances and can go well on his debut over two turns. (5) FEDERAL KING and (7) K N TIZWON came home 2nd and 4th respectively behind Wonderful Joy in that November 12th race and both can be looking to go close again. (4) GAMGOK SUNSHINE another who can enter the calculations.

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Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (December 17)

It’s turned very cold in Korea the past couple of days and temperatures in the capital are forecast to remain below zero for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, the sun will probably be shining and there are 10 races in Seoul on Saturday from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens here and every single one of the twelve is racing for the first time so we must head for the trial videos. Most of these took more than one attempt at qualifying and that applies to the probable favourite (5) BLACK MOTION, who wasn’t ready on his first attempt in July. He has since been gelded and looked much more assured when winning a heat on November 25th sitting handy and then running on, crossing the line in a decent time ten-lengths to the good. If he can bring that form to the races, he can win. Going on times, (4) AGAPANTHUS is the second pick. His heat was first due to the presence of Grand Prix Stakes 4th placed Saryeoni First and Korean Oaks 3rd Chamjoeun Chingu but he stuck with both and can go well here. (8) DONGHAENG FIRST and (1) KARIZMA came through the same trial, and both hinted at ability while (9) VILLARRICA is another who offered some evidence of potential when 2nd on his heat two weeks ago in a fair time.

Selections(5) Black Motion (4) Agapanthus (8) Donghaeng First (1) Karizma
Next Best9, 3
Fast Start1, 4, 5, 8

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

More juvenile maidens although this time only one of twelve is appearing for the first time with the rest all having raced once apiece. The three lowest drawn look set to dispute it. Of them (1) ACHIM DONGJA is the only one who debuted at this distance, starting slowly on November 5th but running on strong for a good 3rd place in a good time. He should have derived benefit for the experience and with a better start, is the one to beat. (2) STRENGTH showed speed when 4th on debut in a quick time over 1000M on November 27th. He finished off well and the additional furlong shouldn’t prove problematic from a good gate. Similarly, (3) NAOL GONI ran on for 4th on debut over 1000M a month ago and looks to be the other legitimate winning chance. Among the rest, (8) SAVANA CHARLIE was also 4th on debut, albeit in a slower time. He did though finish off very well and the step up in trip can benefit. Debut maker (12) THUNDER PRINCE went through two trials, improving in the latter, and may go well first-up at probable big odds.

Selections(1) Achim Dongja (2) Strength (3) Naol Goni (8) Savana Charlie
Next Best12, 6
Fast Start2, 3, 9, 10

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

More juvenile maidens, all with racing experience. (1) G MOTION is the warm favourite, having finished no worse than 4th in three starts so far, with two of them coming over this distance in good times. He draws very nicely here, and he won’t need to improve much to win this. (5) CHROMITE came home 5th to G Motion’s 4th when they raced each other on November 19th. He has three lengths to find on the favourite but that was his first try at this distance and he may improve for the experience. (8) DALGEUM comes up in trip for the first time after back-to-back 3rd place finishes over 1000M. Both times she was doing her best work late on and the additional furlong can suit here under a very light weight. (6) UNICORN KINGDOM is similarly up in class following an improved 2nd over 1000M at start number three and along with (2) MISS WIN STAR is another in the frame.

Selections(1) G Motion (5) Chromite (8) Dalgeum (6) Unicorn Kingdom
Next Best2, 9
Fast Start4, 6, 8, 10

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Regular maiden open to all ages. (12) EUREKA has never finished any better than 4th but that is something he has achieved on no fewer than five of his nine starts so far. He draws wide here but given his running style, that may not be much of a problem. His times at this distance have not exactly been electrifying, but that’s true for everything else here too and he has as good a chance as any. (10) BEST BIG BANG has the fastest – though that’s relative – time of those who have attempted the distance before. That was achieved when beating Eureka as the pair ran 3rd and 4th on October 16th. He remains nicely weighted under an apprentice and can go close. (6) DEVIL K has a couple of 3rd place finishes to his name and that’s enough to put him firmly in contention in this company. In the absence of any early speed, he may lead and can be in this a long way. (4) CHOEGO POINT and (9) MADISON MOUNTAIN are others who could be in the mix.

Selections(12) Eureka (10) Best Big Bang (6) Devil K (4) Choego Point
Next Best9, 2
Fast Start2, 6, 10, 11

Seoul Race 5: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

It’s hard to look too far past (10) HIGH GRAND here. After back-to-back 4th places over 1000M, he stepped up to 1200M on November 5th and very nearly made all, ultimately coming home 2nd in a quick time. He has the challenge of the wide gate here so may need a touch of luck at the stuck but if he can get a forward position, he will take some beating. (2) SERYUNG comes in off 4th places in his latest two outings, both at 1200M. He draws nicely here to sit on pace or handy and the extra half furlong can suit. (1) MORNING PRINCE enters having run good times in his latest two at 1200M for 3rd and 5th. He has tended to get a bit far back in his races so far but runs on well and is another for who the additional trip can suit. (6) BEST PLAN and (12) HOUYHNHNM others with minor money claims.

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