Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 25)

Big Sunday of racing coming up in Korea. No Stakes races but full fields and plenty of punting interest. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05. English racecards are here. Notes on races for overseas simulcast are below:

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

1. OUR CAT – 4th behind Yeol Queen at the distance in April and followed up with a 5th last time. Matching those would be par today.
2. SEONGEUN MARU – Started his career really well but went off the rails at the end of last year. Latest two have been more encouraging.
3. JEONGAN KINGDOM – Disappointed when favourite in May but bounced back with 3rd over 1000M three weeks ago. Trialled up nicely last week and in the hunt here.
4. YEOL QUEEN – Two very solid efforts so far at this level and one of the main contenders here.
5. SOKDO SHINHWA – Comes in after two good showings at 1000M. Should be near the early pace and can place. (more…)

Turkey Cup, SLTC, CHIA Trophies Headline Day 1 Of Seoul International Weekend

It’s 60 years since South Korea and Turkey established diplomatic relations and to mark that, the Turkey Cup is one of three big races Day 1 on Saturday of the first of two International weekends at Seoul Racecourse this year (11 races from 10:45 to 18:00). 


Flags fly at a previous Turkey Cup day

In additional to the Turkey Cup, there are also the annual exchange races with the Selangor Turf Club and China Horse Industry Association. English racecards are here. Here are notes on the four key races:

Race 7: Class 4 (1200M) “Cargill Agri Purina” / Handicap / KRW 60 Million / 15:35

1. CHARISMA QUEEN – Started to get the hang of this level in her latest two. Led last time but did fade to 5th.

2. TOUR ROSE – Since a 7th place on debut, she’s never been any worse than 2nd. Comprehensive class and distance winner last start, she’s very much the one to beat here.

3. SAEJAE SARANG – Surprise class and distance winner in February, he’s not shown many signs of following up in three efforts since.

4. DRAGON VILLAGE – Generally beats a few but generally finishes behind a few more. Outsider.

5. MAMBO CHEONHA – Comes in off three consecutive 6th place finishes and hasn’t achieved any better than that in six attempts at this class.

6. NEONEUN ACE – The main danger to the favourite, he enters off back to back 2nd place finishes. Runs best when on the early speed and another 2nd is more than possible.

7. JAMNYONG – Slightly disappointing 4th when well backed on May 7th. Generally runs on though and is in the placing frame here. (more…)

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Clean Up Joy in YTN Cup: Preview (May 28)

The best horse in Korea will make his third start of 2017 on Sunday afternoon and Clean Up Joy looks odds-on to add the YTN Cup to his ever growing collection of big race wins. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10. English race cards can be found here.


Clean Up Joy will bid to make it 3 out of 3 for 2017 (Pic: KRA)

The 6-year-old son of Purge won the KRA Cup Classic last October and then went on to defeat Triple Nine and Power Blade in the season ending Grand Prix Stakes in December. While the vanquished pair went on to race with distinction at the Dubai World Cup Carnival, Clean Up Joy stayed home.

Clean Up Joy has raced twice so far in 2017 although “raced” is a rather strong word so superior has he been, sauntering to a handicap victory in February before claiming the Herald Business Cup in April and it would be a brave punter who takes him on in the YTN.

After long-time regular jockey Ham Wan Sik relocated to Busan at the start of the year, Djordje Perovic has been the lucky one to replace him on Clean Up Joy. To do that he’s had to get off Shamrocker, who ran 3rd to Clean Up Joy las month – albeit ten lengths behind – and it’s Shamrocker who looks to be the closest thing to a rival to the favourite on Sunday.

It is racing of course and anything can happen but having beaten seven of this field across his last four starts, Clean Up Joy will surely be recording his 14th career win.

Here are notes on races to be simulcast overseas, including the YTN Cup:

Race 9: Class Open “The YTN Cup” (2000M) / Allowance / KRW 200 Million

1. UNBEATABLE – Not unbeatable but he rarely misses by much. 3rd behind Clean Up Joy and Soting Sidae at the distance last time, he carries lots more weight today but can place again.

2. BICHUI JEONGSANG – One of the best mares in Korea. 6th behind Clean Up Joy and Shamrocker last time, she is a strong closer who could get nearer today.

3. HWANGGEUMBIYUL – Last on solitary start of 2017 so far and a big ask here.

4. SHAMROCKER – 3rd behind Clean Up Joy last start and a strong winner of two class 1 races prior. May opt to set the pace here and is the biggest danger to the favourite.

5. WINNER RED – Hasn’t quite pushed on as expected but comes in following two creditable outings since being well back behind Cheonjeok in March. Minor money possible. (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Antonio da Silva Debuts – Race-By-Race Preview (May 27)

There’s a new foreign jockey in town and he’ll be in action on Saturday at Seoul where there are 11 races from 10:45 to 18:00. English race cards here.


Antonio Da Silva on a previous visit to Seoul

29-year-old Antonio Davielson Correira da Silva is from Brazil. He rode in his home country for 11 years, mainly in Sao Paulo and notched up over 700 winners including several Brazilian Group races.

He moved to Singapore in the summer of 2015 and enjoyed a successful stint at Kranji, even coming to Korea last year to partner Super Winner in the Korea Sprint.

Da Silva, who will be called “Antonio Davielson” in the Korean race cards, has a busy opening weekend in Seoul with six rides booked on Saturday and three on Sunday.

Notes on races to be simulcast overseas belows:

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

1. LITTLE ANGELS – Yet to win in 22 but was 3rd at odds of 140/1 last start. More respect today but still an outsider.

2. LEAD UP – An all the way winner at the distance in April and then 3rd on first try at this class three weeks ago. With a quick start, she has a good chance here.

3. SUAN STAR – Last in slow effort on only start of 2017 so far at the end of April. Not devoid of talent but hard to back here.

4. SHINE QUEEN – Has been getting progressively further away in six outings at this class but may appreciate the drop back to the minimum distance today.

5. GANGCHONUI ACHIM – Hasn’t won in 5 attempts but has been close. 2nd on both tries at this distance. (more…)

Seoul Derby Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (May 14)

Sunday is Korean Derby Day 2017! (preview here). There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00. There is also a 6-race card at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10. English racecards can be found here. Notes on Seoul races below:

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

1. SUN SMART – Improved 3rd last time and big chance to go better here.

2. ILDEUNG YEOGEOL – Never better than 5th in seven outings. Looks fifth choice today too.

3. MINDEULRE CHUKJE – Slight improvement in three goes to date. Needs more here.

4. CHODONG RACE – 5th on debut a month and can have come on for it. (more…)

Busan Ilbo Cup Day – Sunday Busan & Seoul: Race-By-Race Preview (May 7)

It’s arguably the race of the year so far at Busan Racecourse on Sunday as a field of 15 top class sprinters line up for the Busan Ilbo Cup. Macheon Bolt, last year’s Korea Sprint hero, joins several top line contenders for the Six-furlong Listed race.

Beolmaui Kkum

Beolmaui Kkum goes in the Busan Ilbo – but he won’t be one of the favourites (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Macheon Bolt ran 2nd to Hong Kong raider Super Jockey in the inaugural Korea Cup in Seoul last September and while he could only manage 4th when top weight in a handicap last time out, he looks set for a big run this time under British jockey Darryll Holland.

There are plenty of others in contention too. Recently returned from the Dubai Carnival where his participation was restricted to one 4th place due to lameness, Seoul Bullet can beat anyone on his day while last year’s Korean Dubai star Success Story is a dangerous front-runner who is firmly in the hunt.

Then there is the wildcard. US import King Of Ace has only raced three times but he has won all three with ease and looks a potential star. We’ll see the measure of him here. Then there is the likes of Triple Five, a smart class 1 winner over this distance a month ago, not to mention the Stakes winners Perdido Pomeroy and Beolmaui Kkum. It’s set to be a fascinating contest.

There are 6 Sunday races at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10 while at Seoul there are 11 from 10:45 to 18:00. English race cards can be found here. Notes on all races to be simulcast overseas are below:

Busan Race 1: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

1. SMART LADY – 5th behind Lady Chartered and Main Vicar last time and can look to match that today. Should be able to get on speed this time.

2. LADY CHARTERED – Occasionally pulls a big run out, something she’s done twice in her last four outings. Place not impossible once more.

3. LUCKY JILJU – 6th behind Keun Mabeop last start and plenty to find today. (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (May 6)

It’s a sunny – albeit very dusty – morning in Seoul. 11 races in the Korean capital today from 10:45 to 18:00. English race cards are here. Notes on races to be simulcast overseas are below:

Race 5: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

1. YEONGDONG DAERO – Offered few clues when last of 11 on debut a month ago.

2. UNAK HABIO – Up in class following a win and a 2nd place over this distance. Will need more here but not impossible.

3. STORM NAVY SEAL – A A$70K purchase from Inglis Yearlings last year, he debuts here. Average in trials.

4. RAON CONDOR – Yet to follow-up her winning debut, she is though up in class today having never been worse than 4th in six class 5 attempts. Can go close again.

5. DAEHAN CHEONHA – Best in three starts so far is a 5th. Matching that would be a good performance. (more…)