Sports Chosun Cup Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 24)

It’s one of the oldest races on the Korean Racing calendar and while it’s not one of the biggest or most prestigious, there’s plenty of interest in the 26th running of the Sports Chosun Cup at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday. There are 11 Sunday races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12.40 to 17:05.

Geombit Gangja

Geombit Gangja won the Sports Chosun Cup last year – he’ll be hard pushed to successfully defend it though (Pic: KRA)

Restricted to horses with a rating of 80 or less, the 2000M test was last year won by Geombit Gangja and the now five-year-old gelding returns for another crack having only run once in the meantime. He’s joined by last year’s Oaks winner Jejui Haneul, the improving Nasca Prince – a winner of five from eight and likely favourite – and five others making up a field of eight where all have at least some claim and all have some kind of vulnerability. That may leave the reliable pair of Golden Gate and Spero being well backed. Here are the Seoul previews, with Busan Selections below;

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

After winning a trial, (5) SAGWARANG was sent off as favourite on debut at this distance on May 27th. She could only manage 3rd place but showed enough to suggest she can be winning sooner rather than later. She should have come on for that run and can get away to a better start today and if she does that, can win. The big danger is (3) STAR LIST, who already has a 2nd place to her name at this distance. She was a bit one-paced over 1200M last time out but drops back in trip today and has the services of Moon Se Young for the first time. (2) WANY K and (9) MIRACLE GOLD both put in encouraging debuts last month and can build on them here while (6) STAR SOCKS was just beaten a neck on her latest appearance, beating a couple of these in the process. She’s had ten weeks off since then and can go well today.

Selections (5) Sagwarang (3) Star List (2) Wany K (6) Star Socks
Next Best 9, 1
Fast Start 5, 6

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

After positive showings in his first two efforts, including only being beaten a neck at this distance at the end of April, (4) HANIL DALBIT was sent off as favourite on his latest start on May 27th. He never really got going that day, ending up in sixth place, but his prior performances mean he is worth another chance here. The trainer/jockey partnership has been on good-form recently and they can get another win here. (7) MYEONGJIN MAN was 4th behind Hanil Dalbit last time and the Drosselmeyer gelding could get a little closer today. (9) STRONG RUNNER has shown improvement across four starts to date and if he continues on that trajectory, should be looking for at least a place. (3) DONGHAE SILVER has shown glimpses of ability and will likely try to get on the early speed with Hanil Dalbit. (11) SOKBO WANGWI had shown absolutely nothing in four starts prior to a surprise 2nd last time out and will need to be treated with care here.

Selections (4) Hanil Dalbit (7) Myeongjin Man (9) Strong Runner (3) Donghae Silver
Next Best 11, 10
Fast Start 3, 4, 10, 11

Race 3: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(6) MENI BLADE got her maiden win with a six-length score at this distance on April 28th. She was sent up to 1700M for her first try at this level at the end of last month and while she began as odds-on favourite, she didn’t look comfortable from start to finish and ended up well down the field. Dropped back in trip today, she should be a vastly different prospect. This is a competitive race though. (2) HAENGBOK STAR may still be a maiden but is up in class today having been close at hand in each of his four outings so far. He was beaten five-lengths by Meni Blade back in March but seems to have come on a bit since and can be a factor. (9) HANIL MAGIC and (10) DAECHEON ACE are both a little more experienced and have placing finishes to their names at this class which they can repeat. (3) NEUNGRYEOK SIDAE and (4) PRINCE OF SUN (half-brother to American star Mind Your Biscuits) are others to take into account. (11) VICAR SCOOP the wildcard.

Selections (6) Meni Blade (10) Daecheon Ace (9) Hanil Magic (2) Haengbok Star
Next Best 3, 4, 11
Fast Start 1, 6, 8, 11

Race 4: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Very tricky contest this. We’ll side marginally with (1) KING POSE, who ran well enough on his first try at 1700M a month ago to suggest he has some aptitude for it. Prominent throughout, he only managed to finish 5th but can get back to the front today and this time go all the way. (3) MAMKKEOT DALYEO was only 7th in the same race but he has already shown ability at the trip and he too can be given another chance here. (4) GANGSEO EUTTEUM is up in class having won at this distance on May 26th. He looks to have more improvement in him and should be competitive. (5) MONEY ZIF tries two turns for the first time having run on well for 2nd over 1300M last month. (6) CLEAN UP DREAM and (10) DUMANGANG are among several others who can go close.

Selections (1) King Pose (4) Gangseo Eutteum (3) Mamkkeot Dalyeo (5) Money Zif
Next Best 6, 10, 8
Fast Start 1, 3

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

(8) RAON ACE beat (2) GOLD FASHION as the pair finished 1st and 3rd at class and distance on May 27th. For Gold Fashion that was a big uptick in form but Raon Ace, while a little inconsistent, has shown plenty of ability and has every chance here. A big danger is (1) M.J. ROAD. She comes in off the back of consecutive 3rd place finishes at class and distance, both times behind good horses. She can take up a position just behind the early leaders and can finish strongly. (5) COMPLETE SWEEP won two of three outings around the turn of the year, his only defeat being 3rd place behind Sinui Myeongryeong and (more…)


Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 23)

There are 11 Saturday races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:


It’s Saturday! It’s Seoul!

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(4) YOLO enters after back to back 3rd places at the distance and seems to be figuring things out and beat a couple of these last time. He gets out of the gate well and if he can get to the lead then he’ll be the one to beat. The in-form Antonio Da Silva partners (7) RAON PRO SENSE, a much improved 2nd at 1200M last time. He should be on pace early too and can go well again. (6) JOEUN NADEURI and (9) BEST HUNTER both enter improved showings. The former was 4th behind Yolo last time while latter is a five-year-old who has only run twice but could yet eke out a decent career. (2) MIDAS CHIEF is another with scope for improvement.

Selections (4) Yolo (7) Raon Pro Sense (6) Joeun Nadeuri (9) Best Hunter
Next Best 2, 8
Fast Start 4, 7, 9

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

Take Charge Indy is one of the most exciting young stallions to be imported to Korea in recent times to the extent that some back in the USA have lamented his sale. His first Korean crop is yet to take to the track but in the meantime, we have a foal of his, (2) LUCAS, who was imported in-utero, making her debut here in this valuable juvenile contest. Lucas took a couple of trials to get her bearings but showed some ability in a heat at the end of May and has as much chance as any here, likely looking to lead from the start. (5) WINNING BLADE was half a length behind Lucas in that trial and can also go well first up. (11) ULTRA CHAMPION was faster than both of them in his trial and the Gemologist gelding will have plenty of backers of his own. (1) DAE WAN MA and (6) RAON JAMES are others who caught the eye in trials. As ever with a race like this, watch the market for additional clues.

Selections (2) Lucas (5) Winning Blade (11) Ultra Champion (1) Dae Wan Ma
Next Best 6, 7
Fast Start 2, 4, 5, 11

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(10) FAST FASHION beat a couple of these on his way to 2nd place over 1700M four weeks ago. That was his first start since early February and he looked a much better prospect. Back down in trip today, he looks a solid contender. (2) BRAVO ILSIN comes in having recorded his best finish to date in 3rd over this distance on May 20th. He was able to get to the front for the first time that day and similar tactics will be expected here. (3) ROAD MAN too enters off a career-best 2nd three weeks ago, albeit beaten seven-lengths by a good winner and he should get close. (4) GOLD STREET, 5th behind Fast Fashion last time, and (11) DAE CAIN are others who should be in at least the placing frame.

Selections (10) Fast Fashion (2) Bravo Ilsin (3) Road Man (11) Dae Cain
Next Best 4, 1
Fast Start 2, 6

Race 4: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

She’s registered a 3rd and a 2nd from her latest two, both at class and distance, and it’s hard to see anything stopping (5) JEJUI BARAM from getting her second career win here. She’s well drawn to get out of the gate on top and she should then take some beating. The very experienced (3) LITTLE LIGHT has run well for 3rd in each of her two most recent efforts and she can go close again while (4) FANTASTIC QUEEN was well back behind Jejui Baram last time but is better than that and can get closer today. (7) J.S STORM remains a maiden but his latest 6th of 12 was in tougher company than this and he can target a place. (9) BLUE ANNA is up in class following her maiden win a month ago and she too can be competitive.

Selections (5) Jejui Baram (3) Little Light (4) Fantastic Queen (9) Blue Anna
Next Best 7, 8
Fast Start 5, 7, 8

Race 5: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(12) ARGO ROCKET has reached class 4 in double-quick time after a pair of victories, both at this level. She’s got talent but she’s going to have to improve if she is to maintain her 100% record here. (3) MAGIC ROAD is up in class too, following two wins and a 2nd place (more…)

Minister’s Cup Sunday: 2018 Korean Triple Crown Final Leg – Race-By-Race Preview (June 17)

Sunday sees the final leg of the 2018 Korean Triple Crown and while there is no clean-sweep on the line in the Minister’s Cup at Seoul Racecourse, there is still plenty of anticipation for what should be a very good race. Derby winner Ecton Blade heads the field for what is the feature on an 11 race card at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00. At Busan, there are 6 races from 12:40 to 17:10.


Ecton Blade & Franco Da Silva won the Derby and go again in the Minister’s Cup (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Derby 2nd and 3rd place-getters Mask and Choinma return for another crack with the extra distance possibly to Mask’s advantage. World Sun, who got shut out in the home straight in the Derby will also take his chance again. Cup Mile winner Divide Wind suffered a setback after his 4th place in the Derby and stays at home so another stablemate of Ecton Blade’s, Captain Force, gets an opportunity. If he were to win, it would mean trainer Kim Young Kwan had won all three legs of the Triple Crown with three different horses.

Franco Da Silva keeps the ride on Ecton Blade and there is further foreign interest with Australian trainer Peter Wolsley saddling Cheonnyeonui Gang while Irish jockey Fergus Sweeney gets his first taste of racing at Seoul aboard Hiddden Champ.

Previews of all Seoul races are below (with horse by horse for the Minister’s Cup). Selections for Busan at the bottom:

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

Three-year-old maiden fillies to begin with and while it’s a small field, plenty have hopes. (3) STRONG LIGHT was 4th at the distance in a marginally stiffer contest than this a month ago and should get on pace early. Another good starter is (4) HUIMANG STAR, who drops back in trip after recent good efforts at 1300M and should be competitive. (5) BODEURAM has a 2nd place to her name at this distance and returns following ten weeks off. She trialled nicely enough a couple of weeks ago and should be in the hunt. (2) STEEL RUN and (6) ALEXANDROS not without hope either.

Selections (4) Huimang Star (3) Strong Light (5) Bodeuram (6) Alexandros
Next Best 2
Fast Start 2, 3, 4

Race 2: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(8) GLOBAL KINGDOM returned from six months out on May 12th looking much better than the horse who ran twice without distinction last autumn. He won his comeback by three lengths and steps up in both class and distance today. Neither should be a problem for him. (3) CAMP TOUCH was an improved 5th last time and can compete here while the slight drop back in trip may benefit (1) DURGA. The recent form of (4) SKY MARINE and (5) CONKER may not exactly impress but they find themselves in slightly weaker company today and both could improve.

Selections (8) Global Kingdom (3) Camp Touch (5) Conker (1) Durga
Next Best 4, 6
Fast Start 3, 5, 8

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

(4) JANGSAN JEGUK may have finished a cool seventeen lengths behind winner Simcheong Sadal when 2nd to the surprisingly convincing winner at class and distance four weeks ago but that performance, in what was his first race since Christmas Eve, was a good one and he can go one better today. (2) SKY DOLPUNG enters off back to back 3rd place finishes in two races since being promoted to this class and a repeat should be a minimum target here. (8) CHEONHA HYEONGGUK comes in having been beaten half a length into 2nd on May 19th. He should be on pace early along with (10) SPEED YEONGUNG and both have a chance of staying on. (3) CHEONWANG BYEOL looks best of the rest.

Selections (4) Jangsan Jeguk (2) Sky Dolpung (8) Cheonha Hyeongguk (10) Speed Yeongung
Next Best 3, 1
Fast Start 8, 10

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

There was a full seven months between (3) PALDO DAEJANG’s 3rd place on debut last October and her maiden win three weeks ago. She made all to score by four-lengths over 1000M and while she’s up in class and distance today, she may well get an uncontested lead here and can win again. Best chance of stopping her lies with (6) HANYANG GONGJU, who didn’t run well when favourite on her first try at this level at the end of April but has shown ability and can be given another chance today. (2) NILUI BADA and (4) RAON MIRACLE came home 3rd and 6th at class and distance on May 20th. The latter (more…)

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview

It’s a bit of a low-key Sunday of racing in Seoul with nothing higher than class 3 although there is still plenty of competitive action with 11 races from 10:45 to 18:00. Busan does have a class 1 feature with last year’s Grand Prix Stakes runner-up Dongbang Daero in action. On the south-coast there are 6 races from 12:40 to 17:05. Here is the race-by-race for Seoul with Busan selections below:


Nongbon Daero will go in search of his sixth win at Seoul on Sunday (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(9) AQUA STROM has been getting closer across his six starts to date, culminating in 2nd place at 1000M running on well on May 12th. He’s not a fast starter so he has a tendency to leave himself too much to do but if he gives himself a chance here, he should win. If you prefer one who will be on speed, then (6) TAMNA YEOSIN is the way to go. She improved to 2nd last time at this distance on a slow running track on May 5th and should be a contender here. Also showing good improvement last time was (11) MACH SEUNGNI while the unfortunately named (1) I AM WINNER has been consistently close in her latest three and can play a role here, likely challenging Tamna Yeosin for the early lead. (8) YONGUI JUDO is another who has a 2nd place in his record and can be considered.

Selections (9) Aqua Strom (6) Tamna Yeosin (1) I Am Winner (11) Mach Seungni
Next Best 8, 3
Fast Start 1, 6, 10

Race 2: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

It’s hard to look past (8) HANSEN GLORY here. He showed lots of promise in three starts at this distance as juvenile before suffering an injury after his last race in December. He was fast in a May trial and if he’s anything like he was last year, he’ll win. If he does come up short, then (5) JUNGLE BEAT and (6) FLYING JOY could be ones to take advantage. Jungle Beat is up in class despite not having won at class 6 but shouldn’t be intimidated by too much here while Flying Joy comes in following 5th place in a stiffer contest than this at the distance three weeks ago. Neither (1) EVER A ONE nor (9) LEAD UP went especially well behind (11) PARTY POWER last month but both could improve today.

Selections (8) Hansen Glory (5) Jungle Beat (6) Flying Joy (9) Lead Up
Next Best 1, 11
Fast Start 3, 5, 6, 9

Race 3: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Very competitive race with cases to be made for plenty. (3) NAEGA KKEUTPANWANG is a front-runner who has had to settle for 3rd place in each of her last three starts. She drops back half a furlong in trip today and it could be to her benefit. (2) SEUNGNI NARAE had to scratched from a scheduled start five weeks ago through injury but he entered that in good form and would have been well-backed having secured a 3rd and a 2nd in his two starts immediately beforehand. He’s back working well now and should be in the frame here. (6) BACK TO BACK has been a touch disappointing in his latest two but is back at the distance he won at today and should be a threat. (12) CHEON MONG and (8) BAEKSAN ISLAND came home 3rd and 4th when they raced each other at the distance on a wet track on May 13th and both can look to match that here. Most punters will have finally given up on (11) KKEULEOJUNEUN SON who seems to have lost her way.

Selections (3) Naega Kkeutpanwang (6) Back To Back (2) Seungni Narae (12) Cheon Mong
Next Best 8, 11, 7
Fast Start 3, 4, 11, 12

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

Small but competitive field. (5) JAELONGI is the pick, having run 2nd to Nike Street at class and distance on May 12th. He is still a maiden but now has four 2nd places to his name and can go one better today with Moon Se Young riding for the first time and likely attempting to make all. If he is to come up short once again then (6) DONGSEO GADEUK, who has finished behind him in both their last two races, is one contender to take top honours. However, more likely are (1) STAR PERFECT and (8) JEONGSANG DOLPUNG. Neither covered themselves in glory in their respective last starts but both are better (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 9)

There are 10 Saturday races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:


It’s Saturday! It’s Seoul!

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

Very ordinary looking maiden for fillies only and (7) SURFING POINT should have enough about her to get things right at what will be the fourth time of asking. She’s outperformed her odds in her latest three and can win for Manoel Nunes and Simon Foster. (3) RAON OPTIMUS has hinted at some ability with a pair of 2nd place finishes at 1700M and 1000M and she looks the main danger. (2) DAEMYEONG SOLAR and (5) NALSSAEN GIRL can improve while in such a race, it’s probably worth keeping an eye on the solitary debut-maker. That’s (6) ADEUKAN SEONGJA, and she trialled up in competent fashion in May.

Selections (7) Surfing Point (3) Raon Optimus (6) Adeukan Seongja (2) Daemyeong Solar
Next Best 5, 8
Fast Start 3, 6, 8

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(2) ROMAN BLADE has been getting closer across three starts to date, culminating in 2nd place on May 27th in a similar filly-only maiden to this. She should be on pace here and should make-all. Joining her on the early speed is likely to be (1) HALLA DAERO, an improved 3rd last time out a month ago and she can be a threat here. (3) JIGONG JILJU has never finished in the top two but is rarely too far away and can go close again for an in-form stable. (6) CLEAN FLOWER drops back in trip after a promising 4th over 100M last month while (4) IRYEO HAYEO has been a touch inconsistent over seven outings so far but has proven capable on her day.

Selections (2) Roman Blade (3) Jigong Jilju (6) Clean Flower (1) Halla Daero
Next Best 4
Fast Start 1, 2

Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three debut-makers join five with prior experience and it’s among the ones who have raced before where we find the most likely contenders. (6) SIMON FRUIT was 2nd on debut in April and while he has been a touch below expectations in two starts since, he’s not been far away on either occasion and can get it right today. He’ll be on pace early, most probably alongside (4) ROYAL PRINCE, who has been consistent across five starts so far and steps back to the minimum distance today. He hasn’t shown an awful lot in the way of speed but if he can lead, he may be difficult to overhaul. (7) SEUNGNI LIKE improved last time and couple be a factor as well. None of the first-timers caught the eye in trials but if we had to pick one to consider first-up, it would be (8) RAON BULPAE.

Selections (6) Simon Fruit (4) Royal Prince (7) Seungni Like (8) Raon Bulpae
Next Best 3, 1
Fast Start 2, 4, 6

Race 4: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(2) DAESEUNG AGAIN was a solid 4th on debut in a reasonable race at this distance on May 12th. It was a very wet track that day, but he ran on nicely and is the pick to score here, likely seeking to lead from the start. Also making his first start in that race was (7) DAMON ANGEL. She had previously finished ahead of Daeseung Again in a trial and while in the actual race, she was a length and three-quarters back in 5th, she too showed that she has a bit about her and can also improve here. (3) ULTRA MISSILE didn’t perform especially well in that same race but does have a 3rd to his name at the distance and may go better. (1) ADELEUI KKUM tries the minimum distance for the first time but (more…)

SBS Sports Sprint/Ttukseom Cup Day: Full Race-By-Race Preview (June 3)

On this weekend last year, Silver Wolf was setting out on a clean-sweep of the Queens’ Tour Series with a narrow win over Haeya in the Ttukseom Cup. This Sunday at Seoul, it’s surely Haeya’s turn to win the Ttukseom while Silver Wolf turns her attention to the SBS Sports Sprint, the 2nd leg of the Sprint Series, having already won the Busan Ilbo Cup last month. The exciting Today, a winner of 10 of 12 starts is among a full field of fifteen rivals and the Aussie-bred superstar will be under huge pressure in the 1200M test, but she has the class to overcome it. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05.

Silver Wolf Power Blade Busan Ilbo 2018

Silver Wolf beat Power Blade in the 1st leg of the Sprint Series. Can she win again in the SBS Sports? (Pic: KRA)

A$40,000 yearling purchase, Silver Wolf was last year’s champion filly/mare in Korea. In between winning all three legs of the 2017 Queens’ Tour series, she also went sprinting, winning the Munhwa Ilbo Cup and running a strong 5th in the Korea Sprint. Silver Wolf has made an unbeaten start to 2018 with three consecutive victories including the Donga Ilbo Cup at 1800M in February and significantly, the 1st leg of the Sprint Series at Busan last month, when she downed Today’s stablemate Power Blade over this distance.

Six-years-old and arguably still getting better, the mare by Orotorio is the one to beat. Tactically versatile, she can win from anywhere but is usually ridden patiently and with lots of early speed in the race, it may well play to her advantage.

Drosselmeyer colt Today was imported in-utero and has set about winning ten of his twelve starts so far at distances of up to a mile. The Kim Young Kwan stable has such an embarrassment of riches that Today has gone somewhat under the radar and with any stable only permitted to run a maximum of two in any race, he is yet to get the opportunity to run in Stakes company. However, with Power Blade kept home, Today gets his chance here.  He enters on a four-race winning streak with his latest having been at this distance on March 25th. Jockey Franco Da Silva rode the winner of the Korean Derby three weeks ago and returns to Seoul with another big chance.

The three who contested last year’s finish all return. Doraonpogyeongseon got the decision that day by the narrowest of margins ahead of Parang Juuibo and Choegang Schiller. Doraonpogyeongseon has won just the once since but was an excellent 3rd in the Korea Sprint, beating Silver Wolf, and remains a danger at the top level.

Parang Juuibo isn’t quite of the elite but rarely finishes outside the top five – although making top five will take some doing this time. Choegang Schiller has only raced four times (and switched trainers twice) since the race a year ago. He’s won two of them, most recently in February at this distance and broke the track record in the other and is a live chance.

There are wildcards. Today’s stablemate Finest Warrior gets to step up. A winner of four from seven so far, he was unconvincing when sent up to class 1 for the first time last month but it’s unlikely trainer Kim Young Kwan has opted to bring him to Seoul simply for the experience. There is further Australian interest as Peter Wolsley brings Ace Korea up from Busan. The three-year-old Smiling Tiger colt has won his latest two in facile fashion, both at this distance and while this is a huge step up, he’s highly thought of. It’s a massively competitive contest bit Silver Wolf can win it from Today, Doraonpogyeongseon and Cheogang Schiller.

The Ttukseom Cup should be a little bit more straightforward in terms of finding the winner.

Haya at the Korea Sprint

Haeya (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Haeya is rated no fewer than 27 points higher than the next best and that fact alone tells its own story. She’s been plagued by soundness issues across her career which has restricted her to thirteen starts of which she has won six. The ones she has lost, however, have tended to be in top class company. She was 2nd to Silver Wolf in this race last year before running 3rd in the second leg, the KNN Cup at Busan.

With a mile considered her limit, she didn’t run in the concluding race of the series but did take a crack at the Korea Sprint in which she finished 11th. Haeya has begun 2018 in good form with a win and a 2nd place in two class 1 outings, both at this distance of 1400M. Her last start was in March, but she was kept ticking over with a trial win in late April. A front-runner, this could be her year.

Behind Haeya though, it is anyone’s race, with all fifteen other competitors having at least some claim on the places. Hi Sexy and Cheongsu Yeogeol look to have the best claims but Luigi Riccardi’s Rocket Queen might make for an interesting one at odds. Here is the race-by-race:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Just one debut-maker among the eleven who kick us off but he’s probably going to start the favourite. (1) WINNER SPIRIT took part in an outrageously fast trial on May 18th, registering the kind of time that would win the vast majority of actual class 6 races at this distance. It was a wet track, but he certainly looked competent and while he will surely be slower today, can still win. (2) LIVINGSTONE comes in off back to back 4th place finishes and looks to be improving, despite disappointing when favourite last start. (5) I’M HAPPY and (6) MONKEY SOCKS have both shown glimpses of ability and should go close. (11) RAON SITIEOSEU beat (3) GOLD SEUTAK and (8) NAMJJOK NARA as the trio filled out 3rd to 5th at the distance on May 5th and he should beat plenty again.

Selections (1) Winner Spirit (2) Livingstone (5) I’m Happy (6) Monkey Socks
Next Best 11, 3
Fast Start 1, 2, 6, 10

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(4) BARAM KING beat a couple of these on his way to 4th place at this distance on April 29th. He’s not been too far away in five of his six starts so far and against this modest opposition, with Moon Se Young taking over in the saddle, looks the most likely to make the breakthrough. (8) SEUNGNI PLUS started favourite against Baram King last time but could only manage 6th place. Nevertheless, he is one of only two horses in the race who have managed a 2nd place finish and he can be given another chance. The other one with a 2nd is (6) KHENDUM POWER though he looks to have more to find on recent form. (5) ROAD WOMAN and (11) MACHO HIME can improve on recent starts while (10) DAEJIUI SAESSAK was so slow on debut last month, she was sent back to trial. She completed that trial well last week though and could do much better this time around.

Selections (4) Baram King (8) Seungri Plus (11) Macho Hime (5) Road Woman
Next Best 1, 9, 10
Fast Start 3, 6, 8

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

(4) SPECIAL GOLD got her second 3rd place finish from four starts so far and she could well be the one getting it right in this maiden for three-year-olds. She’s finished well in all her starts so far and so long as she doesn’t leave herself with too much to do, she can win. She was chased home that day by (5) HANEUL ACE and (1) HYEONGMA PUBU, the (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 2)

There are ten races at Seoul on Saturday from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:


Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(7) TAEYANG SINHWA beat (1) SPEED HWANGNYONG as the pair finished 2nd and 4th on a wet track at this distance on May 6th. Both should be involved again but Speed Hwangnyong, who has shown improvement across his three starts so far, may just be the more progressive at this stage and can overturn the form here. Plenty of others come in off encouraging efforts. (8) GAJA GAJA and (5) RAON GANGHO came home 3rd and 4th when they raced each other at the distance on April 28th. This is a stronger contest but once more both can be competitive. (9) SPECIAL DREAM was a close 3rd last time and comes in here following a couple of months off and with a top jockey on board. He should be on speed early and has every chance.

Selections (1) Speed Hwangnyong (8) Gaja Gaja (9) Special Dream (5) Raon Gangho
Next Best 7, 2
Fast Start 2, 8, 9

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

(7) SONGAM GONGJU came home from off the pace for a much-improved 2nd over 1000M three weeks ago. The track was wet that day and she’s likely to be ridden much further forward and with the extra furlong in her favour, she should win this weak contest. (3) SUPER YEOWANG ran a good 4th on debut at 1000M in February and returns for the first time with good chances of improving. (6) TA MINA was less impressive on her first try but had previously trialled well so gets another chance. (4) FLYING HERA can beat a few in this company while the debut-maker, (1) ISCRA, by virtue of the being the only one who has done nothing wrong so far may also come under consideration – although the trial evidence is not especially positive.

Selections (7) Songam Gongju (3) Super Yeowang (6) Ta Mina (1) Iscra
Next Best 4
Fast Start 3, 7

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

(7) SIMPLE RULES ran 2nd at the distance on May 5th, having led early. She’ll be on speed again and while this assignment is slightly stiffer in terms of depth, she can go one better here. That day (8) DAESEONG RUBY was four-lengths behind Simple Rules in 3rd and she too can challenge although a few others will be favoured more. The experienced pair of (1) PYEWOL SUHWA and (3) LITTLE LIGHT both enter off the back of decent showings at the distance. Pyewol Suhwa is likely to challenge Simple Rules for the early lead while Little Light just needs to take care that she doesn’t leave herself with too much to do. (2) MJ JILJU is up in class after grinding out an all the way win by a neck over the distance in April and should be competitive at this level.

Selections (7) Simple Rules (2) MJ Jilju (1) Pyewol Suhwa (8) Daeseong Ruby
Next Best 3, 5
Fast Start 1, 2, 7

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

(2) UNDEFEATED is exactly that. True, he’s only raced once but he won it comfortably enough by four-lengths at this distance. He’s up in class here but should be able to get on the early lead and if he does, he’ll not need a name change just yet. (6) JEJUI HEUKSEON remains a maiden but she’s had some near-misses including a good 3rd place last start on 1300M. She’ll look to join Undefeated on pace at the start and should be at least placing again. (3) SEOUL STORY may benefit from racing at further than the minimum for the (more…)