Seoul Sunday Race-By-Race Preview (August 12)

With Busan taking the weekend off, there are no fewer than 15 races at Seoul on Sunday with the daytime card running from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:


15 races at Seoul on Sunday

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

(12) BEYOND OVER ran a useful 2nd on debut on July 15th, running on pleasingly. She’s got the widest gate today but that shouldn’t be too much of a hindrance and she’s got a good chance of coming out on top this time in this all-filly affair. (4) STEEL RUN was 4th in that race, a position she’s developed a habit of ending up in and there is a chance she could improve here although stiffer competition may come in the form of (1) RAON WILLIAMS. She was a touch disappointing in 6th on her debut last month having previously impressed in trials, but hopefully learned a bit from it and does better this time. (9) HALLA DAERO and (11) SCARLET PERFECT both recorded their first runner-up finish on their respective latest starts and should be very much in the placing hunt again today.

Selections (12) Beyond Over (9) Halla Daero (1) Raon Williams (4) Steel Run
Next Best 11, 5
Fast Start 5, 8, 9

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Only one of these juveniles has raced before. That’s (9) WONDERFUL EVIL, who ran a decent 4th in a similar contest over the distance on July 7th. That experience should stand him in good stead and he has a chance but we will be favouring a couple of the first-timers. Likely favourite is (6) WINT SEVEN. He won his trial in a decent time under today’s jockey Manoel Nunes and is perfectly drawn in the middle to get a good start and go all the way. (1) HAE SAEM CHAM won her trial too, coming from just behind the early leaders to run on nicely. Nunes was also her trial rider but gets on Wint Seven here. With a name like (7) DO KKI BLADE, you’d hope this Officer colt is good, but he didn’t offer many clues in his trial. Connections mean he will be backed though. (8) BLACK ZAPPER is another who has the potential to go well first-up.

Selections (6) Wint Seven (1) Hae Saem Cham (7) Do Kki Blade (9) Wonderful Evil
Next Best 8, 3
Fast Start 1, 4, 6

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

(1) CHEONSANG GIUN did noting in his first two starts before being shunted up to 1700M for his next two where he started to show some hints of ability. That continued back down at this distance last start when he ran a useful 4th and he can make his breakthrough today. The main danger looks to be the solitary debut-maker (7) MYEONGPUM CHUKJE. He looked good across two trials, most recently on July 20th and if he brings that form to the races, he has a real chance. (8) BEST BOBAE comes in off a 3rd place in an admittedly weak contest over 1200M on July 7th and could look to match that here while (2) DAEJIUI SAESSAK and (6) GANGSANUI ACHIM are ones with potential to improve on recent results.

Selections (1) Cheonsang Giun (7) Myeomgpum Chukje (8) Best Bobae (2) Daejiui Saessak
Next Best 6, 4
Fast Start 4

Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(6) MAIN RACER has had a couple of months off since disappointing when favourite at class and distance on June 3rd. He was reasonably well positioned that day but didn’t quicken, ultimately ending up in 5th. He’s shown plenty of ability though and will probably be ridden on the speed today and is worth another chance. Stablemate (2) DAEMYEONG SOLAR ran well when stepped up to this trip last time and can build on it here, while (3) SUJEBI and (7) SPEED HWANGNYONG came home 3rd and 4th over this distance on June 16th. Sujebi has raced once more since then and struggled when favourite, but Speed Hangnyong returns for the first time and will be expected to do better today. (4) MIDAS CHIEF is another hwo looks to be figuring things out and can go close.

Selections (6) Main Racer (7) Speed Hwangnyong (4) Midas Chief (2) Daemyeong Solar
Next Best 3
Fast Start 2, 3, 6

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

(7) KING POSE drops back in trip having just been beaten a head over 1700M on June 24th. He’s won at this trip already, should be on speed early and has a chance. (4) MALAKAS keeps going close at this class with several near-misses. He began poorly at 1000M last time but still rallied for 5th and with a better start, can get much closer. (6) SUN BOLT won on debut back in January but had seemingly started to lose his was in his next three outings He arrested that slide with a solid 3rd on his first try at this distance three weeks ago and can build on it here. (2) NANGMAN STAR and (5) BAEKSAN ISLAND are others in at least the placing frame.

Selections (7) King Pose (4) Malakas (6) Sun Bolt (5) Baeksan Island
Next Best 2, 8
Fast Start 4, 6, 7

Race 6: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(3) ROMAN BLADE only managed 6th place when favourite at class and distance on July 15th. We’ll not give up on her yet though and with Manoel Nunes rising her for the first time, she’ll likely be favourite to put things right here. When she got her maiden win back in June, she beat (4) CLEAN FLOWER by two lengths. Clean Flower followed up with a five-length win of her own on July 7th to come up in class for the first time and she will be one of the principal dangers. Others include (5) SPECIAL WINNER, who drops back in trip following a good 2nd place at 1400M and (2) MONEY DAERYUK, who like Roman (more…)


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

There are 12 races at Seoul on Saturday from 2pm to 9pm:


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

(11) GOLD SEUTAK has gone no better than 3rd in nineteen starts so far and only achieved that on her latest start, However, her latest three efforts have been promising and she beat a couple of these last time. It could be her day. (1) RAON SITIEOSEU has beaten Gold Seutak in the past and while her latest couple of starts have been disappointing, they were in slightly tougher company than this and she can improve today. (3) MAGIC DOLPUNG hasn’t done too much wrong in two tries to date while (7) SPHAERA also looks to be figuring things out with 2nd place last time, albeit in an even weaker race than this and some distance behind the winner. (6) YONGUI JUDO is another who has a 2nd place to her name and she can aim to repeat here.

Selections (11) Gold Seutak (1) Raon Sitieoseu (3) Magic Dolpung (7) Sphaera
Next Best 6, 4
Fast Start 7, 9

Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(6) SO ARA DAEWANG enters off back to back 3rd place finishes, running on nicely each time and the extra furlong today may be exactly what she needs to get her maiden win. (5) CHANGSEONG LUCKY debuted at this distance on May 27th and did well, finishing 4th. It’s been eleven weeks since but he comes in here with solid chances for a stable that has started to pick up recently. (1) JEONGMUN K enters off a similar layoff and can improve here while (9) GLORY VERN should be setting the early pace and can stay on. (2) SAND CHAMP another who has offered a couple of glimpses of ability and could improve.

Selections (6) So Ara Daewang (5) Changseong Lucky (9) Glory Vern (1) Jeongmun K
Next Best 2
Fast Start 8, 9

 Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Two-year-old maidens only here with three racing for the first time and the other five making their second appearances. (5) BI PYEONG was 2nd on debut on June 16th and while he was well-beaten by a good winner, he has every chance of going one better today. He ran on well that day at 1000M and the additional distance should suit. (3) RAYMOND also went well on his debut, running 3rd, also at 1000M and he should be a danger here while (2) GUREUM WANGJA demonstrated some promise too and is likely to be on the lead from the gate. Among the debut-makers, (6) CHOEGANG SINGI looked the best in trials.

Selections (5) Bi Pyeong (3) Raymond (2) Gureum Wangja (6) Choegang Singi
Next Best 4, 8
Fast Start 2

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

(9) BAEKSAN FORCE got her maiden win by an emphatic thirteen-lengths at 1200M on July 1st, making all. That win had been coming and while she’s up in both class and slightly in trip today, she’s the one to beat again. This is undoubtedly a tougher assignment though. (2) FLYING JOY remains a maiden after eight attempts but has run 3rd in each of his last two, both at this class and should surely be close again. (8) SPEED YEONGUNG beat (3) VICTORY STAR as the pair came home 2nd and 4th over 1400M on July 14th and both are capable of challenging again here. (1) RAON MIRACLE too ran an encouraging 3rd at class and distance on her latest outing and should be in the hunt to at least match that today.

Selections (9) Baeksan Force (2) Flying Joy (3) Victory Star (8) Speed Yeongung
Next Best 1, 4
Fast Start 2, 6, 7, 9

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

(10) SKY JUMP was a six-length winner over this distance on what was just her second career start two weeks ago. She makes a quick return here and while up in class the small filly – she weighed in at less than 400kg prior to that victory – could win again. She’ll have stiff competition from (6) PRIMO, who just missed out by a nose at class and distance on July 7th and beat a couple of these on her way to another runner-up finish in June. She’ll come from just behind the early pace and could get up this time. (2) CHEONJI BOBAE and (5) PERFECT BIC C came home 3rd and 4th at the distance on June 16th and both look in the placing frame here.

Selections (10) Sky Jump (6) Primo (2) Cheonji Bobae (5) Perfect Bic C
Next Best 4, 7
Fast Start 1, 4, 8, 10

Race 6: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

After just being beaten a head into 2nd on his first try at both class and distance in June, (1) HWANGGEUM JUMEONI was sent off as favourite on his re-appearance three weeks ago. Things didn’t go to plan and he ultimately finished 5th of 8 but there’s a good chance he can put that right today. (8) GANADORA is already a winner at this distance, albeit at class 6. The I Want Revenge filly ran a solid 2nd on her first try at this level on July 7th and she should get close again. She may well get an uncontested lead early here. (4) ONNURI ALBA is a stablemate of Ganadora and while a touch inconsistent has proven competitive at both class and distance. (9) CHANGSEONG GANGJA and (10) BAEKDU POWER come in with recent form reading positively and both can challenge here, at least for minor money. Both those two beat (6) ASTER last time but he too can be a useful performer on his day and may well improve here.

Selections (8) Ganadora (1) Hwanggeum Jumeoni (6) Aster (4) Onnuri Alba
Next Best 9, 10
Fast Start 8

Race 7: Class 3 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

A winner of three of her first seven before being put up to this class and distance, (4) OKAY QUEEN managed a 2nd and a 3rd in two tries at it to date, She’s likely to race (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview Of The Bumper 15-race card (July 28)

There are no fewer than 15 races at Seoul this Saturday with the 1st at 2pm and the last at 9pm.  There’s no Manoel Nunes as he is away riding in the Macau Derby and no Antonio Da Silva as he is at Busan to ride Mighty Ssing in the Owners’ Cup on Sunday While Johan Victoire and David Breux are both in France. So there are plenty of opportunities for the locals this week:


Lim Gi Won will be among a number of riders looking to take advantages of several big name absentees on Seoul’s Saturday program

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

(9) GRAND DOLPUNG got his career-best result to date last time out, running 2nd over this distance and the Hansen colt can go one better today for a stable that has been coming into form over the past couple of weeks. (5) GUDSEEORA too enters off a much-improved 2nd just two weeks ago and backs up quickly with chances although (3) ULTRA MISSILE, who is likely to lead from the gate, may be a bigger danger. (2) RUSSEL and (10) MIRACLE GOLD are two others who can have potential to improve on promising – if not exactly quick – recent efforts.

Selections (9) Grand Dolpung (3) Ultra Missile (10) Miracle Gold (5) Gudseeora
Next Best 2, 11
Fast Start 3, 11

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

Two-year-old maidens only and three of the seven have raced before. The one that showed the most was (7) HAEDEULMOE, who ran 3rd at 1000M on July 1st. He finished a cool twelve lengths behind a good winner but he ran on nicely and the extra furlong should suit. (5) GEOTAP did nothing wrong either on his debut comfortably finishing in midfield, also at 1000M and should improve today. There are a couple of useful debut-makers though and (3) SMARTY ADELE could well jump the favourite. She’s from the top Song Moon Gil stable and looked competent when running 3rd in a trial in a quicker time than many race in and if she brings that form to the track, she has a serious chance and could well get an uncontested early lead. (1) GEUMA KINGDOM and (6) RAON STELLA are the other first-timers to keep an eye on.

Selections (3) Smarty Adele (7) Haedeulmoe (5) Geotap (6) Raon Stella
Next Best 1
Fast Start 3

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

More two-year-old maidens. Half of the eight have raced once before and it was (8) GOD OF SOCKS who went the best, finishing 2nd over 1000M ten lengths behind a good winner (and ahead of Haedeulmoe from race 2) on July 1st and he can win today. (6) TOHAMSAN POWER and (3) LAO JIN also debuted in that race, running 5th and 7th respectively and both can improve here. Lao Jin went back to trial just last week and performed very well suggesting she may be the greater danger this time. The first-timers here didn’t really catch the eye in trials. The best look to be (4) BARAMUI MISO and (7) GEUMBIT TANHWAN.

Selections (8) God Of Socks (3) Lao Jin (6) Tohamsan Power (4) Baramui Miso
Next Best 7, 1
Fast Start 3, 6, 8

Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(8) BRAVO ILSIN come sin off a 3rd and a 2nd from her latest two having led both at some stage. They were at 1300M and she drops slightly back in trip today with a big chance of coming home on top. (2) LOVELY NUTE ran twice without distinction at the tail-end of last year and returns after a full thirty weeks out. She’s moved to Simon Foster’s barn now and looked a much improved animal when trialing two weeks ago and will be a danger here. (5) RAON GANGHO has been close in each of his last five outings and although he’s never managed better than 3rd, can aim for at least the places here. (1) SONGAM JEUNE and (3) JEONGMUN JEKI are others who can go close.

Selections (8) Bravo Ilsin (2) Lovely Nute (5) Raon Gangho (3) Jeongmun Jeki
Next Best 1, 4
Fast Start 1, 2, 3, 8

Race 5: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(6) MAIN EVENT beat both (5) SAMAE STAR and (7) TAEWANG SINHWA on his way to 2nd place at this distance on June 30th. That was something of an upset but Main Even will need some respect today and could repeat. Nevertheless, Taewang Sinhwa, who never looked hugely comfortable from a wide draw that day, has gone close in the past and has every chance of overturning the form here. (4) POX RANGER may be the one they all need to beat though. She was 3rd the last time she raced at this distance in May and held her own in a reasonably stiff 1000M contest at the beginning of this month. Expect her to be ridden to the lead today with every chance of staying on. (9) Cheonsang Giun and (11) Speed Captain others who may get involved.

Selections (4) Pox Ranger (7) Taewang Sinhwa (6) Main Event (11) Speed Captain
Next Best 9, 10
Fast Start 4, 6, 11

Race 6: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

A rare maiden for two-year-old imports sees six first-timer starters and one who has raced one time before. All things being equal, the actual race experience can be important, especially if they ran well and (1) NAUI BICHIYEO did exactly that. The Mission Impazible colt ran 3rd of 7 at this distance on June 16th and can progress from that to the winner’s circle today. (7) THANK YOU CHARLIE made all to “win” his trial by a (more…)

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 22)

There are 11 Sunday races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05. The feature race is the Ilgan Sports Trophy at Seoul where Sharp Kaylan, 2nd in the final leg of the Triple Crown last month, has the chance to pick up a piece of silverware. Immediately after the last race at Seoul, the KRA Trophy at Kranji in Singapore will be shown . Three Korean horses, Today, Gakbyeolhan and Approach, have made the trip over. Here are race-by-race comments for the Seoul meeting. Busan selections (and one for Kranji) are below:


Sharp Kaylan came close in the Minister’s Cup but had to settle for 2nd place. He can win Sunday’s Ilgan Sports (Pic: KRA)

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

(3) GYEONGGUKJIMA ran a strong 3rd in a good time on debut on June 16th, racing on pace throughout. She’s well drawn to lead early and should make all the running in this all-filly maiden. (5) HEUNG OREUM debuted in the same race, ending in a creditable 5th and she can build on that here although she has plenty to find on the favourite. (7) LUCAS was also 3rd on her debut last month and while she was slightly less impressive than Gyeonggukjima, she can at least match that here. First-time starter (4) DANGDAE SONYEO looks an interesting proposition under Manoel Nunes while (9) STAR LIST beat a couple of these on her way to an improved 3rd on her fourth career start four weeks ago.

Selections (3) Gyeonggukjima (7) Lucas (5) Heung Oreum (4) Dangdae Sonyeo
Next Best 9, 10
Fast Start 1, 3, 4, 7

Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(7) HANIL DALBIT has shown promise across four prior starts. His best finish came when he was just beaten a neck over the distance at the end of April having led almost until the line. Last time out he was favourite and while he could only manage 4th, is worth another chance here. (2) SOKBO WANGWI was 6th that day on her first try at this distance and she can continue to progress. (6) SANTOS has been inconsistent but has shown some talent and can be a danger most likely challenging Hanil Dalbit for the early speed. (3) DAEGIL SANGJON offered few clues in two outings last year but returns here after ten months off having trialled up very promisingly a couple of weeks ago and can go well first-up. (9) BEST LEVEL was a much-improved 2nd, albeit a full thirteen lengths behind the winner, at this distance on a soaking wet track three weeks ago and could maintain that momentum.

Selections (7) Hanil Dalbit (6) Santos (3) Daegil Sangjon (2) Sokbo Wangwi
Next Best 9, 11
Fast Start 6, 7

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

A convincing winner over 1000M in May, (4) PALDO DAEJANG stepped up to this class and distance on June 17th and ran a good 2nd place. He was favourite that day but can be given another chance here. He’ll try to get the lead straight from the gate and can go all the way. (7) HAMBAK MISO won on debut back in March and has been close in all three outings since, culminating in 2nd place behind Penetro at the end of May. He comes in here reasonably fresh and should be close again. (2) RAON PRO SENSE is up in class after his maiden win at 1000M on June 23rd and while he has struggled on both previous tries at this distance, could go better today. (3) DUAL CHOEGANG remains a maiden after sixteen attempts but looks to be getting to grips with this level and could make a place.

Selections (4) Paldo Daejang (7) Hambak Miso (2) Raon Pro Sense (3) Dual Choegang
Next Best 6, 5
Fast Start 2, 4

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

(5) UNDEFEATED won on debut in May but hasn’t quite lived up to his name in two starts since although he has run well, finishing 2nd and 3rd at 1200M and 1000M respectively. He’s with a new trainer today and tries this distance for the first time and can return to winning ways. (1) ROYAL PRINCE scored his maiden win at 1000M and steps up in class here. He’s raced reasonably well at this distance before and can be competitive. (7) DAECHEONUI SARANG ran a good, if slightly unexpected 3rd at class and distance last start four weeks ago and can be given more respect today while (8) CHUKBOGUI (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (July 21)

It’s very hot! Saturday racing is at Seoul with 11 races from 14:00 to 21:00:


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

(4) SONGAM GONGJU has been close in each of her latest three, running a good 2nd over this distance back in May before following up with a 3rd and 4th in two tries at 1200M. She only needs another top-three finish to go up in class and she can exit class 6 with a win here. She’s not a fast-starter but can finish strongly. (7) KAILLUM YEOJE has two 5ths among three efforts so far and can improve here under the in-form Antonio Da Silva, (3) SINBIRYONG and (10) MAX THUNDER also come in having run 5th last time out and can improve too. (8) HWANSANGUI BIT showed progress when running 3rd at this distance last time and while it was a slow time in a slow race, can be a threat here.

Selections (4) Songam Gongju (7) Kaillum Yeoje (3) Sinbiryong (10) Max Thunder
Next Best 8, 6, 9
Fast Start 5, 7, 8, 10

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Eleven previously unraced two-year-olds go here chasing a big prize first-up. Two of them enter having won trials. (6) BAEKSAN MENIQUEEN and (11) MIREU STORM both coming home on top in their heats with front-running performances, with Baeksan Meniqueen the more impressive of the pair. Plenty of others caught the eye too though. The bang-in-form Manoel Nunes partners Simon Foster’s (9) CHOEGANG STAR. The Midshipman colt came 2nd in a fast hear three weeks ago and looks to have solid claims here. Matching his trial time was (1) CHEONSE MANSE. Nunes rode that one too in the heats and he can’t be completely overlooked. Other trial eye-catchers were (2) DEO JOEUN NAEIL and (7) ATHENA V but as ever in this kind of race, be sure to watch the market for clues.

Selections (6) Baeksan Meniqueen (9) Choegang Star (2) Deo Joeun Naeil (7) Athena V
Next Best 11, 3, 1
Fast Start 2, 9, 11

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

(8) SAGWARANG was an eye-catching nine-length winner over the distance on her second career start in an all-filly race four weeks ago. Accordingly, she is up in class today but has every chance of making all once more. (1) BLUE ANNA will be a big threat though. She broke her own maiden back in May, beating a couple of these along the way and ran a good 2nd place on her first try at this level on June 23rd. She may not challenge Sagwarang for the early lead, but she has a strong finish. (3) KKEULEOJUNEUN SON has been frustrating but showed she’s not devoid of talent when running 3rd over 1200M last time and interestingly drops back to the minimum distance for the first time on almost exactly one year. She doesn’t look any closer to her maiden win but can challenge for a place again. (5) STRONG LIGHT is never too far away and also looks good for the places while (7) BEST MAID came back into some kind of form with 3rd last start and can compete once more.

Selections (8) Sagwarang (1) Blue Anna (3) Kkeuleojuneun Son (5) Strong Light
Next Best 7, 6, 10
Fast Start 1, 4, 5, 8

Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(2) MYEONGJIN MAN has shown steady progress across three starts so far and his 3rd last time at 1200M suggests more to come. He’s up to 1300M for the first time and Manoel Nunes can continue his red-hot July. (10) DAE UNHA has shown ability too in four outings with a best of 3rd and should be the main danger. He returns from a couple of months off and drops back in trip today. (1) GOLD STREET hasn’t been too far away in her recent efforts and ran a useful 4th at the distance last time to enter the placing frame here. (8) DAE CAIN was well back behind Gold Street last start but can be given another chance here.

Selections (2) Myeongjin Man (10) Dae Unha (1) Gold Street (8) Dae Cain
Next Best 7, 9
Fast Start 1, 5, 8, 10

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

It took (4) CHOIN DAEBO three starts to get his maiden win but he obliged handsomely enough over this distance on June 16th. He’s up in class today but strongly in the frame to win again, likely leading from gate to wire. (7) FIORE joins him up in class having run 2nd to him last start but clearly has more to find so a greater danger could be (2) LAST (more…)

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

A familiar face will be in action on Saturday as jockey Masakazu Tanaka returns to Korea to take up an initial four-month engagement at Seoul Racecourse. There are 11 races from 14:00 to 21:00.

Masa Tanaka

Masa Tanaka (Pic: Busan Ilbo)

Now 34, Tanaka, who has spent the majority of his career riding in New Zealand, joined Busan Racecourse in June of 2013 and returned solid results, riding 24 winners in his first seven months up to the end of that year.

2014 was challenging for the Japanese rider, but Tanaka still emerged with 29 winners from 330 rides. It would be in 2015, however, when his persistence paid off and he became acknowledged as one of the top jockeys in the country. He rode 49 winners that season, taking him to 5th place in the jockey championship.

Although he couldn’t secure a Stakes race victory, he landed a 3rd place on New York Blue in the Asia Challenge Cup in 2014 and the following year another 3rd, on Ildeung Hanghaesa in the President’s Cup, at that time Korea’s joint-richest race. He left Busan having ridden 101 winners from 907 rides and returned to New Zealand where he has been riding since.

Tanaka, who this time will be based in Seoul, has four rides in the capital on Saturday but the odds are against him making an immediate winning return although some of the other foreign jockeys at the track should be in the winner’s circle at some stage with Johan Victoire, Manoel Nunes and Antonio Da Silva all on plenty of live mounts.

The day’s feature is a class 2 handicap over 1800M (race 10). Samjung Tapit, Thunder Light and Tosconova Cat, who came home 2nd, 4th and 6th respectively in last month’s TJK Trophy will be among the favourites in an ultra-competitive eleven-runner race.

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

Just seven runners to kick us off with and it’s as weak a maiden as you’ll find. (2) HANIL GANGJA ran reasonably well in three outings around the turn of the year before being taken lame. He returned to training a couple of months ago trialling up in early June in good order and he should have far too much here. He will try to lead from gate to wire although he will be challenged for the early lead by (4) GOODCHOICE, who has show a couple of glimpses across eight outings so far and should be aiming for a career-best finish here. (6) SAND CHAMP has only raced twice so far, and the jockey booking makes one take note here. (5) JEONGMUN Y and (7) SUNSHIN MARINE the others with scope for improvement.

Selections (2) Hanil Gangja (4) Goodchoice (6) Sand Champ (7) Sunshin Marine
Next Best 5, 3, 1
Fast Start 2, 4

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

The second maiden of the day is only marginally stronger than the first. (2) DAESEUNG AGAIN is the clear standout having run 4th and 3rd in his first two starts. He came close to making all last time, just being headed in the closing stages and this time can go all the way. (1) DALLYEORA RAON steps back to the minimum trip following a decent 3rd place 1300M last time. He’s also returning from seventeen weeks out and can go well first-up here. (4) GWANGPOK JUHAENG and (5) SO ARA DAEWANG have both demonstrated progress over their limited starts so far and while for both, this is slightly harder than their latest assignments, both can be competitive.

Selections (2) Daeseung Again (1) Dallyeora Raon (4) Gwangpok Juhaeng (5) So Ara Daewang
Next Best 3, 6
Fast Start 2, 8

Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Japanese jockey Masa Tanaka, who rode 100 winners at Busan in a previous Korean stint, makes his debut as full-time Seoul jockey here but the Japanese rider may have to wait a little longer for his first winner as his mount in this juvenile maiden, (1) CHEONJI GISANG, won’t be among the favourites. That’s not to say the colt did badly in his trial though, but it’s a competitive affair. Three have raced before and of them, (6) CHANGPA was a solid 4th on June 16th, running on nicely and if she has come of for the run, she’ll be the one to beat. Among the first-timers, (7) GUREUM WANGJA and (9) UP LIGHT looked most impressive in trials. The pair of them will likely join Changpa on the early speed and all three should still be involved at the business end. (4) JACOB and (8) RAYMOND are others to keep an eye on and as ever in races like this, watch the market for clues.

Selections (6) Changpa (7) Gureum Wangja (8) Raymond (9) Up Light
Next Best 4, 1, 11
Fast Start 6, 7, 9

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

(1) BODEURAM and (3) WAIT AND SEE are both up in class after maiden wins at the distance last time. Both are from in-form stables and both look to have more to offer at this level with the filly Bodeuram slightly favoured to make the step up faster. Main danger to both is (4) ARGO GALLOPER. He remains a maiden but now has three 3rd place finishes and a 2nd place at this distance. The 2nd came last time out when he was well-beaten by a good winner having led early on but still finished comfortably ahead of the rest and should be a factor here. The experienced (8) PERFECT BIC C was 4th behind Argo Galloper that day but can run closer here. (7) JUNGJEON MAMA returned to racing (more…)

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

It’s a big day of racing in Korea on Sunday with 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 while at Busan there are 6 races from 12:40 to 17:05. Here are the previews:

New Citadel Korea Racing Authority

New Citadel (foreground) was only narrowly beaten by Cheongdam Dokki when the pair were juveniles. He returns from his latest layoff at Seoul on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

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

(9) LIVINGSTONE has been getting closer across six starts so far and ran well for 2nd last time out behind a good winner. He can get off to a fast start from the outside gate here and is very much the one to beat. (3) SEUNGRI LIKE has also shown improvement across his latest two and should be the main danger. (1) SCARLET PERFECT and (4) ULTRA MISSILE both have a 3rd in their records although both have put in two disappointing showings since, but they could improve. (7) CHANGSEONG HERO sneaks into the top picks by virtue of the jockey booking.

Selections (9) Livingstone (3) Seungri Like (4) Ultra Missile (1) Scarlet Perfect
Next Best 5, 2
Fast Start 4, 9

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

Small field but nice and competitive. (1) GWACHEON HERO stepped up to this trip for the first time on June 3rd and ran a solid 3rd place, finishing off well and could go two better this time. (4) MACH SEUNGNI also enters off the back of two good showings at 1300M and 1200M respectively and should be a factor. (5) DAEMYEONG SOLAR moves up to this distance for the first time and it may suit a little better than the 1000M she’s run at before. (7) WHITE FLOWER offered few clues on debut four weeks ago and could improve here. (3) GREEN TEA drops back in distance after some reasonable performances at 1700M and can be a factor.

Selections (1) Gwacheon Hero (4) Mach Seungni (7) White Flower (3) Green Tea
Next Best 5
Fast Start 1

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

(4) JUNGLE BEAT is yet to win but has been no worse than 3rd across four starts to date and was a good 2nd to the promising Hansen Glory on his first try at this class last time with a couple of the others here well back behind him. Today really should be his day. (3) CHODONG RACE made all to win at class and distance on June 9th. That was his maiden win at the tenth time of asking and a repeat isn’t out of the question. (6) HI EUREKA was 3rd that day and can get close once more. (1) JEONSEOLUI MANYEO and (5) MJ JILJU look best of the rest.

Selections (4) Jungle Beat (3) Chodong Race (1) Jeonseolui Manyeo (5) MJ Jilju
Next Best 6, 2
Fast Start 3, 4, 5

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

(7) GARA GARA GA was 2nd on his first try at this class back at the end of April and returns here after a couple of months off with strong claims of going one better today. He’ll face a stern challenge from (2) STAR PERFECT, also a class and distance 2nd last start four weeks ago. She remains a maiden after twenty-four attempts but has come close on plenty of occasions and a win isn’t impossible here. Also a maiden after even more attempts, (5) GONSEOL comes in with recent form reading well and could go close while (1) SAEBYEOCK JANGGUN and (6) DUSON WANGJA have chances to improve on indifferent latest efforts – Duson Wangja especially, has already come close in a similar race at the end of May.

Selections (7) Gara Gara Ga (6) Duson Wangja (2) Star Perfect (5) Gonseol
Next Best 1, 8
Fast Start 1, 2

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

(9) SPECIAL GOLD is up in class having secured her maiden win at this distance last time out, coming from off the pace to run on well. She won’t need to improve too much to be very competitive here. (2) MAY PRINCE got promoted to this level while still a maiden but proved he’s equal to it with a good 3rd on June 9th. He steps up to 1300M for the first time today and can get close again. (8) OPI RIVER was 4th on his first effort at class and distance three weeks ago and can build on that today while (7) DONGSEO GADEUK enters (more…)