Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (August 13)

Sunday is a huge day of racing in Korea with potential Korea Cup & Sprint implications too. Stablemates Triple Nine and Power Blade renew hostilities in the graded Owners’ Cup at Busan while Derby winner Final Boss will seek to get back to winning ways at Seoul. There are 12 races at Seoul from 11:45 to 19:00 and 5 at Busan from 14:15 to 17:40. Notes on every race below:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million

1. BLACK MUSIC – Two 4ths among latest three. Can repeat.
2. BEST SIDAE – 5th of 11 in similar race last month.
3. BULHUUI SEUNGJA – First try at this distance. Likely front-runner.
4. C.K.QUEEN – Best of 2nd, comes in off 4th of 12 in similar race last time and can go better here.
5. DAEHAN GANGSAN – Improved 2nd on first try at this distance last time. Big chance.
6. HERO KING – Managed three 4th places among seven starts. Would be a good result today.
7. ONLY BARAM – 9th of 11 on debut last month. Not backable yet,
8. JEGUKUI HUYE – Interrupted career so far with four starts spread over almost a year. Did improve last time.

Verdict: Small field to start with and (5) DAEHAN GANGSAN is top choice having showed a liking for this distance on his first attempt at it last time out. He can sit behind the early speed and finish strongly. That speed can be set by (3) BULHUUI SEUNGJA, who along with (4) C.K. QUEEN, look to be the main dangers.


Selections (5) Daehan Gangsan (3) Bulhuui Seungja (4) C.K. Queen (1) Black Music
Next Best 2, 8
Fast Start 1, 3


Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (August 12)

Big 15-race card at Seoul on Saturday. Race 1 is at 14:00 and Race 15 at 21:00. Full preview below:


Playtime’s over. Moon Se Young is back in town 9Pic: Ross Holburt)


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


1. MINDEULRE CHUKJE – Best of 5th from six outings.
2. YAHO WORLD STAR – 8th on both tries so far. Showed prominently last start but weakened.
3. HWANGGEUM YEONMOT – Improved 4th ahead of Kaiser Queen on latest start at odds of 120/1. May be shorter today but still others favoured.
4. KAISER QUEEN – Beaten by Hwanggeum Yeonmeot in early July but recovered two weeks ago to run 3rd of 11 in wet conditions. Chance today.
5. NOBLE QUEEN – Well backed on debut following winning trial but came last after stumbling out of the gate. Three months off since and fresh start today.
6. CUPID DATE – Took a while to qualify and then only beat two on debut a month ago.
7. BEST DOLPUNG – Average trial followed by average debut last month.
8. SHARK KING – Just second start for this 5-year-old. Raced once last autumn – came last. Trialed up ok but a total wildcard here.
9. HONEY BAROWS – About time this one won. Has had a couple of hard luck stories and also just run badly a couple of times but can put things right here.
10. DUAL CHOEGANG – Has been steadily improving. 4th last time over 1000M and can continue to progress today.


Verdict: Pretty competitive opener with (4) KAISER QUEEN and (9) HONEY BAROWS the top picks. Both have been close but inconsistent and we’ll go with the latter to step up here. (3) HWANGGEUM YEONMOT defied lengthy odds last time to improve and could maintain that here while (10) DUAL CHOEGANG looks best of the rest.


Selections (9) Honey Barows (4) Kaiser Queen (3) Hwanggeum Yeonmot (10) Dual Choegang
Next Best 5, 1
Fast Start 2, 3, 4, 9


Seoul Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 30)

The Ilgan Sports Cup takes centre-stage at Seoul on Sunday. It’s part of a 14-race card from 11:45 to 19:00. English racecards can be found here. Notes on all overseas simulcast races can be found below:

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

1. JIGONG JILJU – Showed early but faded in both starts so far. Likely to be on speed again but an outsider.
2. CHOICE BLUE – Debut-maker. Took him plenty of tries to qualify and he can’t be backed first-up.
3. JANGSAN JEGUK – Solid 3rd on debut on July 1st ahead of a couple of these. Big chance here.
4. BLACK CASHMERE – Comes in following two consecutive 3rd place finishes and a win looks just a matter of time. On speed early under good jockey booking.
5. WINNING WIN – First-timer, he’s by a Korean Derby winner but didn’t exactly impress in trials. One to watch rather than back first up.
6. GASOK SHINHWA – Debut-maker. She came through a couple of trials, actually finishing 2nd in one. Slow time though and outsider today.
7. GEUMBIT HWANHYANG – 7th of 9 on debut behind Jangsan Jeguk and Raise Me Up. Should improve for that run.
8. MORAN DONGBEAK – First-time starter. Average in trials and won’t be hugely well backed here.
9. KKEULEOJUNEUN SON – 3rd on debut in quick race over this distance on June 24th. Strong claims today.
10. BOMBI’S KING – Improved 3rd last start at 1300M. Drops back to the minimum for the first time since debut and can go well again.
11. GIDONG DAEJANG – Only beat a couple home on debut and has plenty to find.
12. RAISE ME UP – 4th behind Jangsan Jeguk on first ever start at the beginning of this month and can look to at least match that today. Half-brother to Korean Derby winner.

Verdict: (9) KKEULEOJUNEUN SON and (3) JANGSAN JEGUK were both 3rd in their respective debut races and they look the top picks here with former the choice to prevail. (12) RAISE ME UP was 4th, just a neck behind Jangsan Jeguk on what was her debut too (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 29)

11 Saturday races at Seoul with the first at 14:30 and the last at 21:00. Here are the form comments for simulcast races:

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

1. FAPP CAT – Awesome name but didn’t especially impress in trials and should be watched first up.

2. KAISER QUEEN – Best from seven so far is a 4th. Generally gets away well but doesn’t quicken. Beaten by two of these last time.

3. JABIDONGHAENG – Managed a solid 2nd of 10 in June but had a hard time on reappearance in wet three weeks ago.

4. CONKER – Not beaten many in two starts so far. Still early days but hard to recommend just yet.

5. DOLPUNG STAR – Two outings earlier this year didn’t amount to much. Trialled up again anonymously at the end of June.

6. STORMY PASSION – Beat a couple of these on her way to 7th on a sloppy track last start. Should beat a few again.

7. ÉCLAIR DREAM – Step back in trip following a decent 4th over 1300M on July 1st having led for much of the race. In the frame here.

8. GOLD LEG – Showed glimpses of improvement if not a whole lot of speed in three starts so far.

9. KHENDUM POWER – Debut-maker. Decent in trials and looks to have a fair shot here. Half-brother has won 3 from 16 so far.

10. COLORS CAT – Took three goes to qualify but looked competent enough when finally achieving it. Nice race to debut in but others favoured.

11. LUCKY SINHWA –Still to be lucky in eight attempts. 6th of 12 last time and could look to beat a couple more here. (more…)

KNN Cup Sunday: Seoul & Busan Race-By-Race Preview (July 23)

The second leg of the Queens’ Tour Champion Filly & Mare series is the highlight of a busy Sunday of racing in Korea. The KNN Cup will be run over a mile at Busan. There are 6 races at Busan from 13:25 to 17:40 and 11 at Seoul from 11:45 to 19:00. English racecards are here.


Silver Wolf defeated Haeya in the Ttukseom Cup. They race again in the KNN Cup at Busan (Pic: KRA)

Silver Wolf defeated Haeya to win the first leg of the Tour, the Ttukseom Cup at Seoul on June 4th. However, that day Haeya went off a little too fast trying to chase down an early leader and paid for it in the closing stages. She could overturn that form today. Silver Wold will be dangerous but there are concerns over the fitness of another contender, last year’s Oaks winner Ottug Ottugi, about whom a final decision will be made in the morning. If she doesn’t run, it could change the complexion of the contest given her front running style.

Other contenders include Black Sapphire although it is perhaps a furlong shorter than she would like and Seoul raider Areumdaundonghaeng. Last year’s winner Supreme Magic won’t be among the favourites but can’t be completely ruled out. Form comments on all 13 Sunday races fro overseas simulcast are below:

Seoul Race 3: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

1. SINUI MYEONGRYEONG – Hansen 2yo made all to win very easily on debut a month ago. Up in class but should have few problems with this lot.
2. JUGEUKSEONG – Well back in recent outings.
3. USEUNG DESIGN – Maiden winner over 1200M in May but only beat one home on first try at this class.
4. PARTY TIME – Not too far away from minor placings most times and could sneak some here.
5. FIRSTIGE – Up in class following maiden win at 1200M last month. This is harder but he should be competitive.
6. SIMON MISSILE – Up in class after maiden win at 1300M all the way back in April. Not favoured to repeat but can get some minor money.
7. JINGYEOGUI RACE – Yet to win but has come close on plenty of occasions. First try at class 5 and should go well.

Verdict: Four of the seven are racing at this class for the first time and the three that aren’t look to be the outsiders. (1) SINUI MYEONGRYEONG should win and win well at (more…)

Seoul Sunday – Minister’s Cup Day: Race-By-Race Preview (July 16)

The final leg of the 2017 Korean Triple Crown takes place on Sunday at Seoul Racecourse with the winners of the Cup Mile, Derby and Oaks all taking their chance in the Minister’s Cup. Sunday sees 11 races at Seoul from 11:45 to 19:00 and 6 at Busan from 13:25 to 17:40.


Final Boss won the Korean Derby (Pic: KRA)

Derby winner Final Boss is the favourite. He was Champion Juvenile last year but arrived at the first leg of the Triple Crown, the KRA Cup Mile (Korean Guineas) in Busan in April looking anything but himself. He still ran 5th as Indian King took the honours ahead of Royal Ruby and American Power.

Back home in Seoul in the Derby in May, Final Boss once more didn’t make things easy for himself. He dawdled at the back of the field in the early stages of the race and once he launched his late challenge, veered violently across to the stands-side rail. Regardless, he hit the front in the final furlong and raced on to win by an easy three lengths. Royal Ruby and American Power once more came home in 2nd and 3rd.

So to Sunday and stretching out to 2000M in the Minister’s Cup, a distance none of the 12 runners have tackled before. That surely won’t be a problem for Final Boss who looked ready to go round again after the Derby. Nor should it be for Royal Ruby and American Power who could well end up filling out the places in all three legs of the Triple Crown.

Across the first two legs of the Crown, only one filly took her chance. This time there are four and they’re the top four place-getters from last month’s Oaks. That race produced a record breaking trifecta dividend as longshot Jejui Haneul enabled Kim Hye Sun to make history as the first Korean female jockey to win a Classic. She goes again, however, it is the runner-up that day, Bright Star who could turn out to be the best of them.

All in all though, the race looks set up for Final Boss to confirm his position as the standout of his crop. Notes on all Seoul races are below:

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
1. SPECIAL BIG C – 7th behind Little Wing last start but looks to have potential for better. Placing chances.
2. UPDATE – Woeful in first few outings but getting the hang of it now. Minor money chances.
3. NANGMAN STAR – Not beaten many in three goes so far.
4. WIND POWER – Not too far away in recent outings and should be looking to match career best of 4th.
5. LITTLE WING – Beat Special Big C last start and can look for the places again.
6. YAHO WORLD STAR – 8th of 11 on debut a month ago. Needs a bit of improvement before he can be considered.
7. SACHEON DAESEONG – Best finish to date a 5th over 1000M. 7th of 11 on first try at this distance at the end of May.
8. MIGHTY COOL – Underwhelming so far but from an enterprising stable so may improve.
9. BEST MISSION – Best of 4th from five. Plenty to find here.


Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 15)

Two Korea-trained horses touched down in Singapore early Friday morning ahead of the KRA Trophy race which will be run at Kranji on Sunday July 23. Michael Lee at the Singapore Turf Club covers their arrival here and here.

Back in Seoul there is an 11 race Saturday card from 14:00 to 21:00. English racecards are here. Notes on all simulcast races are below:

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

1. DAE CAIN – First-time. Dam has produced four who reached the track all of them recording at least one win. Was slow in trials.

2. STORMY – 8th on debut a month ago behind the three others who have raced before and also go here. Didn’t disgrace himself though and can progress here.

3. BEST DOLPUNG – First foal from dam who won two from 20. Didn’t stand out in trials.

4. MAJJABEUN SON – Well back in trials, not much to recommend first up.

5. MONE FLYING – 4th of 11 at this distance on debut beaten by Macha Bucha and The Rose. Started slowly but finished very well. Could get closer today.

6. THE ROSE – 3rd behind Macha Bucha and ahead of Mone Flying on debut. In frame again for a repeat.

7. MACHA BUCHA – The favourite. 2nd on debut on June 17th, beating the three others here with racing experience. Should win this.

8. AREUMDAUN SOPUNG – Best of the debut-makers. Looked competent when 2nd in a decent trial last month. Hansen’s first Korean crop looks promising.

9. RACE BEATER – Average in trials, watching brief first up. (more…)