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Cheongdam Dokki defends his YTN Cup crown in the main event of a busy Sunday’s racing (11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10).  Seoul’s top rated horse races up and comer Moonhak Chief as well as New Legend, five from six in Korea, in the showpiece race over 2000M.

Cheongdam Dokki is set to defend the YTN Cup (Pic: KRA)

Cheongdam Dokki is set to be prohibitive favourite for the race although New Legend’s only defeat in Korea so far came at a sprint distance in the Busan Ilbo Cup last month. Although Korean-bred, he began his racing career in the United States. On his only previous try at today’s distance, he demolished the rest of the field although this time, the company will be significantly stiffer.

Baekmunbaekdap, Moonhak Chief and the ever-reliable Shamrocker are among others expected to compete for at least the placings. Here is the horse-by-horse preview for every race at Seoul and Busan on Sunday. The YTN Cup is race 9 at Seoul.

Seoul Race 1: Class 5 (1000m) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

  1. FINAL STORM – Ran through the line fairly last start when trying to lead throughout. The four-year-old will be suited by the five furlongs once again. Each way chance.
  2. GREEN Y – Has finished well back at all four starts this preparation. Prefer others.
  3. SMART DREAM – Demoted to Class 5 company after numerous poor performance in tougher company. Hard to suggest.
  4. GOLD SEUTAK – Twenty-eight start maiden who hasn’t looked threatening for quite some time.
  5. YEONGWONHAN SUNGAN – First run since December last year. Place chance at best first up after running some handy performances last preparation in similar company.
  6. JEOKTO BIMA – Class 6 winner two starts back and followed it up with a five length defeat last start when finishing seven lengths behind Super Yeowang. Can figure with the right run.
  7. GEUM STAR – Third career start for the Clear Attempt filly. Saluted at her first run and then beaten over thirteen lengths when stepping up in Class 5. Missed the start last time out and will benefit if she can get out of the gates in quick fashion.
  8. EOMJI YEOWANG – Eighteenth career start looking for her second win. Performed well for Alan Munro last start when coming from the tail to finish second. Each way chance.

VERDICT: From the inside barrier (1) FINAL STORM will get every opportunity to steal this race. He looks as if he can run a strong enough 1000m that they may struggle to catch him. (8) EOMJI YEOWANG responded to the riding of Alan Munro last start when closing strongly. (7) GEUM STAR can figure if she jumps away cleanly. (6) JEOKTO BIMA looking to bounce back.

Selections (1) Final Storm (8) Eomji Yeowang (7) Geum Star (6) Jeokto Bima
Next Best 3, 5
Fast Start 1, 6

Seoul Race 2: Class 5 (1300m) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

  1. INDIAN ECO – Been well tried in this company and has struggled to figure of late. Drops back to the 1300m which appears to assist her chances however this looks tough.
  2. SILVER LION – Hard to suggest on her twenty-one start career to date. The five-year-old has managed to finish in the top three on three occasions. Rough place chance.
  3. DURI – Six start maiden who has hit the line strongly at her past few starts. 1300m ideal.
  4. HANSEN BAROWS – Speedy type who should ping the gates and work forward early. Much improved effort last start and should not be discounted.
  5. CHANGSEONG GANGJA – Dropped back to the 1300m last start when beat by a big margin. Prefer others.
  6. BUCKETFUL GOLD – Racing well and looks one of the main chances engaged. Finished fourth last start in similar company when beaten six lengths. Runs prior were good including a second and a win in Class 6 company. Keep safe.
  7. DAEHAN ILPUM – Sent out at a short quote his past couple of starts and disappointed on both occasions. Needs to improve.
  8. STRIDE UP – Looks a good chance for new jockey Ryan Curatalo. Disappointing last time out when missing the kick and struggling to recover on a muddy track. Runs prior were promising. Has to overcome 57kg.
  9. GOD OF SOCKS – Has finished well back in recent runs and hard to make a case for in this event.
  10. CHACACHACACHA – Yet to place from eight starts. Hard to suggest.
  11. ROYAL TANK – Nineteen start maiden who will most likely struggle from an outside gate.
  12. K. GUNJU – Broke through at his third career start when leading throughout over the 1300m. Expect Park Eul Woon to bustle the three-year-old out of the gates and get on speed.

VERDICT: (4) HANSEN BAROWS has improved of late and is normally competitive in this class. (12) P.K. GUNJU may prove hard to run down should he find the lead from the outside gate. (8) STRIDE UP was racing well prior to last start when missing the jump. (6) BUCKETFUL GOLD appears an each-way chance.

Selections (4) Hansen Barows (12) P.K. Gunju (8) Stride Up (6) Bucketful Gold
Next Best 3, 1
Fast Start 4, 6, 7, 12

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300m) Special Weight C / KRW 40 Million

  1. MANSEOK JIGI – Resumed last start when finishing fifth in muddy conditions. Should hold a position in the first half of the field.
  2. SPADE MASHIE – Stepped up to the 1700m last start where he appeared to struggle to run through the line strong. Drops back to the 1300m where he has shown some good form. Each way chance.
  3. FAMILY PARK – Ran through the line better than some last start but would need to improve to figure.
  4. SUHO – Well fancied last start but disappointed when only managing to finish sixth. Previous runs were strong enough to fill a place. Keep safe.
  5. SOARA HEUKJANGGUN – Produced a fast sectional to finish fourth last start over the 1300m. Previous runs have been one paced.
  6. DOUBLE DUNDAS – Second career start in this event after finishing well back on debut. Looks safely held.
  7. EAGLE EYE – Debut was fair when finishing fourth and overcoming a wide gate. Expect improvement at her second start.
  8. HUSH DAEBO – Testa Matta colt making his debut for trainer Jeon Seung Gyu. Finished third in a moderate time. Moon Se Young rode in the trial and retains the ride which may be a good lead.
  9. HWANGGEUM DOYAJI – Eye-catching run last start when coming from the tail to finish third. Step up to the 1300m will suit the three-year-old.
  10. JAENEUNG CHUNGMAN – Third start for the Colors Flying filly after a good effort to finish third last start behind Running Box. Lim Gi Won to be legged aboard.
  11. CITY SONGAM – Debuted last start when sent out unwanted by punters. Managed to finish midfield and one that may improve with more racing experience.

VERDICT: (9) HWANGGEUM DOYAJI appears one that will appreciate the step up allowing her to wind up. (2) SPADE MASHIE is aided by a good gate and did not see the 1700m out strongly last start. The 1300m will suit. (10) JAENEUNG CHUNGMAN has the services of polished hoop Lim Gi Won. (4) SUHO can bounce back after a poor performance.

Selections (9) Hwanggeum Doyaji (2) Spade Mashie (10) Jaeneung Chungman (4) Suho
Next Best 7, 1
Fast Start 1, 2, 7

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

  1. FIORE – Has been struggling to figure in races of similar strength. Would need to improve to figure.
  2. GEUMSEONGHWANGJE – Solid start to the three-year-old’s career winning two from six starts along with a handful of places. Ran second behind Nimui Hyanggi last start in similar company. One of the main chances.
  3. BEYOND OVER – Back marker who leaves herself too much to do come the top of the straight. If she can sit closer she can be considered an each-way chance.
  4. DAEGIL SANGJON – Has struggled since entering Class 4 company. Alan Munro has his first ride on the four-year-old. Needs to improve.
  5. YEOKDAE CHOEGO – Sensational win last start in Class 5 company when running on from a midfield position. Featherweight of 52kg puts him right in this race.
  6. ISCRA – Antonio Davielson has his first ride on the four-year-old. Punters have sent him out at short quotes his past few starts but has struggled to figure. Do not discount but needs to find a few lengths to place.
  7. SOMETHING NOBODYNO – Korean bred who has started off his career in good style. Promoted to this company after successive places in Class 5 company. Expect to sit on speed but will find this harder. 1300m should suit the three-year-old son of Simon Pure.
  8. SUPER YEOWANG – Another progressive type who is firing early on in her career. Has led at all three starts to date this preparation. Steps up in grade but has taken all before her so far.
  9. SIMON RICH – Looks safely held in a race full of speed.
  10. HANEULUI STAR – Lightly raced five-year-old who is having his third start this preparation. Ran second when resuming over the 1000m and then midfield at his second start back. Place chance.
  11. JILPUNG GANGJA – Went through the lower grades with ease but has found this type of company tougher. First time stretched out to the 1300m and needs to improve to figure.
  12. TIAGO TOUCH – Has previously won in Class 4 company and should be respected in this event with just 54kg. May be forced to settle rearwards from the gate.

VERDICT: (2) GEUMSEONGHWANGJE looks right in this with the good draw. Showed last start he can prove competitive in this grade. (5) YEOKDAE CHOEGO looks to be suited by the 1300m. (7) SOMETHING NOBODYNO is progressive and one to follow. (6) ISCRA is an each-way chance based on what we’ve seen from him to date.

Selections (2) Geumseonghwangje (5) Yeokdae Choego (7) Something Nobodyno (6) Iscra
Next Best 3, 11
Fast Start 2, 6, 7, 8

 

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1200m) Special Weight B / KRW 40 Million

  1. BLACK SPIRIT – Looking to break maiden status at start fifteen. Produced a better performance last time out when second behind Songam Barbie. On the two-week back up and drops back to the 1200m.
  2. SABA KINGDOM – Finally drawn an inside gate after a run of wide barriers. He led throughout when he broke maiden status five starts back in Class 6 company so look for Johan Victoire to be positive out of the gates. Form of last has been poor and needs to improve.
  3. WINNER SAY – Henny Hughes filly who broke through for a 2.5L win last time out over the 1000m in Class 6 company. Showed improvement last start to win and should be kept safe once again.
  4. GENERAL ROSE – All three career starts have been encouraging including a win in Class 6 company. Stepped up to the 1300m last start and accounted for herself well when fourth behind Udaeryung.
  5. KAHINAH – Broke through for her maiden win last start when Moon Se Young was legged aboard for the first time. Won by a nose last start and this looks tougher. 1300m suits.
  6. WANY K – Hard to suggest on recent form when well beaten in events similar to class of this race. Prefer others.
  7. SOBAEK YEONGJU – First time beyond 1000m this preparation. Found himself midfield last start and ran on well to finish fourth. Each way chance.
  8. EAGLE SKY – Fifth run this preparation. Placed at big odds last time out with just 51kg on his back. Has to carry 56kg in this event as he steps back up to 1300m and looks a hard task.
  9. ACE ZAPPER – Dropped back to Class 5 company four starts back and has still struggled.
  10. FIRE – Been quite some time since we have seen an encouraging performance from him. Looks safely held here.
  11. WINNER CROWN – Broke through two starts back when sent out by punters at a short quote. Followed his win up with a midfield finish in Class 5 company overcoming a wide gate. No easier today.
  12. WONDERFUL HENNESSY – Has speed to burn and should work forward early on from the outside gate. Been gobbled up in the home straight at her past couple when managing to hold on for a place.

VERDICT: (3) WINNER SAY showed last time out that she can sit on speed and run through the line strong. If Manuel Porcu can get her to sit in the leading division and unwind solidly like last start she will take some holding out. (12) WONDERFUL HENNESSY will ping out of the gates and work forward for Kim Yong Geun. Has found a couple quicker than her at her past couple but the early speed is an advantage. (5) KAHINAH responded to the riding of Moon Se Young last time out and (4) GENERAL ROSE should be respected.

Selections (3) Winner Say (12) Wonderful Hennessy (5) Kahinah (4) General Rose
Next Best 7, 8
Fast Start 3, 5, 11, 12

Busan Race 2: Class 5 (1300m) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

  1. MAERYEOK DEONGEORI – Produced just one win from fifty-nine career starts. Has had four starts this year and failed to finish in the first six across the line. Prefer others.
  2. NEW JACK SWING – Four-year-old who will appreciate barrier two allowing him to sit closer to the speed. Mixes his form but capable on his day.
  3. JIRANJIGYO – Was placed back in Class 5 company late last year after struggling to figure in stronger company. Has subsequently struggled in the easier grade and is likely to find this tough.
  4. ROSA – Three-year-old Korean bred who is looking to break maiden status at start nine. Ran consecutive places earlier this year but has finished midfield at her past three starts. Place chance.
  5. ULSAN JANGGUN – Three-year-old Colors Flying colt who drops back to the 1300m after finishing well back last start. Mixes his form and place chance at best.
  6. HAPPY GATE – Broke through in Class 6 company last time out at each way odds. Likely to find this tougher but cannot be discounted. Expect to sit in the first half from a central draw.
  7. DOCTOR WEEK – Saluted in a weak Class 6 event three starts back and best effort since has been midfield in similar company to that of this event. Place chance at best.
  8. JUNGKKOT – Progressive type who lines up for her fifth career start. Beaten six lengths last time out by a handy type. Athletic filly who looks a nice type to follow going forward.
  9. FINAL FRONT – Promoted to Class 5 company last time after some reasonable performances in weaker grade. Struggled last time out and this looks no easier.
  10. BIRYONGUI HUYE – Well beaten last time out over the 1300m. Third up so expect to be fitter but prefer others until he shows some form of improvement.
  11. MACH RANGER – Ran on fairly last time out but still well beaten over the 1200m. Slight step-up to the 1300m but looks hard to have.
  12. CHEONNYEONUIYAKSO – Progressive type engaged who looks one of the main chances. Performed well last time out over the 1300m. Has shown speed in his first few career starts so expect You Hyun Myung to ride aggressively.

VERDICT: (8) JUNGKKOT and (12) CHEONNYEONUIYAKSO appear the progressive types engaged with the remainder of the field more experienced. (8) JUNGKKOT is likely to get an economic run with her early speed and should sit on speed whilst Cheonnyeonuiyakso may find it problematic finding a position on speed. (6) HAPPY GATE has shown consistency in his eight-start career and (4) ROSA appears an each-way chance.

Selections (8) Jungkkot (12) Cheonnyeonuiyakso (6) Happy Gate (4) Rosa
Next Best 2, 10
Fast Start 4, 5, 10

 

Seoul Race 6: Class 4 (1300m) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

  1. BEST VICTORY – Has been settling rearwards in his races and hitting the line fairly. Has finished behind some handy types so do not discount entirely.
  2. NASCAUI BYEOL – 12 start maiden import who has been freshened for today’s run. Well beaten last time out and needs to improve.
  3. HWANSANG STAR – Still a maiden after seven starts but is one of the main chances engaged after finishing in the top three at his past four starts. Drops back to the 1300m which is a slight query at this point in his preparation.
  4. KEY FACTOR – Struggled to finish closer than midfield at his past couple. Import who is still a maiden after sixteen starts.
  5. STRO REA – Five starts and yet to finish closer than sixt. Prefer others.
  6. GISELLE GOEMUL – Three-year-old USA colt who flew out of the gates last start going on for an all the way 4L win, Kim Deok Hyeon takes 3kg off his back and with just 54kg he looks the one to beat.
  7. FASHION PLAYER – Has struggled to finish in the top three at her first few race starts. Lightly weighted with just 51kg. Given the way she ran on last time out place chance at best.
  8. AMERICAN BELL – Third career start for the three-year-old. Ran home doggedly last time out to finish a strong second behind Cupid Guy. Can make a case for the American Lion colt based on his last start.
  9. CALL WIN – American import who hasn’t fires a shot since arriving.
  10. ACTIMON – Finished runner up at his past couple. Has to carry 55kg but has the polished services of Moon Se Young aboard. Back marker who runs on strong.
  11. INCHEON SPEED – Just one top three finish from seven career starts. Well back at his past couple of starts over the same distance. Prefer others.
  12. WINNER SPIRIT – Third start this preparation. Wait for some improvement after failing to finish off his races of late.

VERDICT: (6) GISELLE GOEMUL looks to have been placed perfectly in this with the 3kg claim of Kim Deok Hyeon. Won by a big margin last start and will have the chance to get on speed once again. There seems to be some X-Factor about (8) AMERICAN BELL. Keep an eye on him going forward as he looks like he will improve with longer races. (10) ACTIMON will get back in the race and hit the line strong. (3) HWANSANG STAR cannot be discounted albeit looking for his first win.

Selections (6) Giselle Goemul (10) Actimon (3) Hwansang Star (8) American Bell
Next Best 4, 1
Fast Start 3, 5, 6, 8

Busan Race 3: Class 4 (1400m) Special Weight B / KRW 60 Million

  1. FOREVER NINE – Up in grade coming off consecutive places in Class 5 company. Likely to find this hard but is a place chance with the soft draw.
  2. STAR ROAD – Three-year-old import who is looking for his maiden win. Went over the 1400m last start when finishing well back. Hard to suggest.
  3. OHO DAEJANGGUN – Drops back to the 1400m after failing to figure over the mile last start. Has had a long preparation and this looks a tough assignment.
  4. JANGHAN JILJU – Has saluted in similar company back in December last year. Since then has managed to finish in the first half on most occasions. The 55kg likely to take its toll on her in this event. Place chance.
  5. JET SKY – USA import who is looking for her second win. Placed over the 1400m last start when 2.5L behind progressive type Friday. Expect to be competitive.
  6. TRIPLE SILVER – Backmarker who has finished his races off fairly at his past couple of starts in similar company. Place chance at best.
  7. SINBIHAN JILJU – Hard to suggest on recent performances in similar company.
  8. THUNDER RAIN – Progressive type who looks the one to beat albeit the impost of 57kg. Gutsy performance last start when sitting three wide and running on strong. One to follow.
  9. SANGSEUNG DAEHAN – Last start winner..
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It’s turned warm across the Korean peninsula the past couple of days with temperatures nudging into the 30’s for the first time this year. There are 11 races at Seoul on Saturday from 10:45 to 18:00:

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

Weak but competitive maiden to open with. We’ll go with (12) KOOKA CAT to defy the widest gate and claims the spoils. Having won a trial in March, he beat a couple of these on is way to 5th place on debut four weeks ago and looks to have the most potential for quick improvement. (4) DALLYEORA SOKBO was a significantly improved 4th on his latest outing three weeks ago and can continue his progress here while (10) WONDEFUL MARINE and (11) QUEEN STREET have both hinted at some ability and can win money in this type of company. (5) SIMON QUEEN steps up in trip for the first time and the jockey booking will have some taking note.

Selections (12) Kooka Cat (4) Dallyeora Sokbo (10) Wonderful Marine (5) Simon Queen
Next Best 11, 8
Fast Start 2, 3, 7, 10

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

The first two-year-old of the season is spotted here although (1) GAGANA didn’t offer much in his trial and won’t be fancied in this maiden. (4) SAMAE JILJU is the most experienced in this field and accordingly is the one to beat. She was a close at hand 4th last start and won’t need to improve very much to win this. (5) SINGSING JANGSU offered little on debut all the way back in January but was competent and fast, albeit on a wet track, in a trial at the end of April and will be expected to go much better today. (8) AUSPICE was a touch disappointing on his debut in March but previously trialled well and should have come on for the experience. (9) CUPID YEOWANG has a2nd place to her name already and can’t be completely overlooked while of the first-time starters, (12) GEUMA IMPECCABLE looks the pick.

Selections (4) Samae Jilju (8) Auspice (5) Singsing Jangsu (12) Geuma Impeccable
Next Best 9, 1
Fast Start 2, 4, 6, 8

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

(5) VICTORY MAY has a 4th and a 2nd in two starts so far, both at this distance. She led for much of her latest outing on April 13th only to be taken down late by a good winner and should have too much for this field. (8) CAPTAIN BEST was poor on debut on a wet track to the extent that he was sent back to trial. He came through that rather well and can improve today. Of the debut-makers, (2) BISAYEON looks the pick. While his half-siblings have been ordinary, to say the least, he looked good trialling in April and can go well in this modest company first-up. (9) NONSTOP HAENGJIN and (10) COLORS WING are others in the hunt.

Selections (5) Victory May (2) Bisayeon (8) Captain Best (9) Nonstop Haengjin
Next Best 10, 1
Fast Start 2, 5, 8, 12

Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Maiden fillies only. (8) TO THE VICTORY has been getting closer and was 3rd last time out on a muddy track at this distance on April 28th. She only needs a top three finish to be up in class next time and she can exit the bottom level of racing with a win here. (3) HWANGGEUM STAR overcame a poor start to run an improved 5th on what was just her second appearance last month. She can continue to improve today, while (9) MYEONGMA JILJU drops back in trip following two goes around 1700M. She ran 2nd in the first of those but weakened in the wet last time and may be suited more by today’s test. Of the two debut-makers, (2) WHITE QUEEN is from and in-form stable and looked capable in trials.

Selections (8) To The Victory (3) Hwanggeum Star (9) Myeongma Jilju (2) White Queen
Next Best 5, 7
Fast Start 2, 5, 8

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

(2) INDY LADY enters in good form, specifically her latest effort when she ran a close 2nd in a good race over class and distance having led for much of the way around. From gate 2 she should be on pace again and under visiting jockey Seo Seung-un, can win. (1) GEOTAP and (12) SEMYEONG STORM are both up in class having registered maiden wins on their respective latest outings. The latter looks significantly better equipped for this level and while he will need to overcome the outside gate, can be a big danger. (3) JEONGSANG MANSE and (4) TAEPUNG EYES are both experienced at this level and shouldn’t be too far away while (5) EX BLADE did nothing wrong in 6th on his first try at this class a month ago and can get closer this time.

Selections (2) Indy Lady (12) Semyeong Storm (3) Jeongsang Manse (5) Ex Blade
Next Best 4, 9
Fast Start 2, 7, 12

Race 6: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(5) MUNHAK WINNER has shown good promise in running 4th and 2nd in two starts to date at 1000M and 1300M. He should be on pace here and has every chance of leading all the way. (6) GEUMA ANNUITY has been knocking on the door for some time now with a pair of 2nd places and a 4th from his latest three. He’s giving weight to all his rivals here, but a win shouldn’t be too far away. (9) KKEULEOJUNEUN SON remains a maiden after seventeen attempts but is capable of finding the money in this company and shouldn’t be too far away. There are three debut-makers and of them, (1) TAP FLYING looks to be the pick. He went well in a trial two weeks ago and the jockey booking is sure to tempt plenty while (10) BIG GARLAND is another long-term maiden but has run well in two starts since returning from a layoff and can be competitive here.

Selections (5) Munhak Winner (6) Geuma Annuity (1) Tap Flying (10) Big Garland
Next Best 9, 12
Fast Start 2, 5, 6, 8

Race 7: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(4) RAON STORM is up rapidly in class having won two of three outings so far. He’s made all in both of those and while he steps up from the minimum distance for the first time today, he could well complete his hat-trick. (7) BAEKSAN FORCE was denied by the strong finishing Best Bullet on her latest outing a month ago and should be close again, while (8) BIG THUNDER enters off the back of consecutive 3rd place finishes and can go close again. (11) FIRENZE HILL is up in class after too many near-misses at class 5 and while the distance is a question mark – just like Raon Storm, it’s his first try at further than five furlongs – he can be competitive. (6) SEOUL QUEEN looks best of the rest.

Selections (4) Raon Storm (7) Baeksan Force (8) Big Thunder (11) Firenze Hill
Next Best 8, 9
Fast Start 1, 4, 7, 9

Race 8: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Wide open race with any number of potential winners. (11) LUCKY BONGHWA beat three of these on his was to 4th place at class and distance on April 21st, despite not running on especially well. He remains a maiden after seventeen attempts, but this looks to be his best chance to put that right. Also still a maiden is (10) DAE UNHA. He ran 5th on his first try at this distance four weeks ago and under Alan Munro can get closer today. (3) CHEON GOE SEONG tackles the trip for the first time. He’s run on well in his previous outings at shorter distances and today may well suit. He’s likely to be on pace early. (2) BULHUUI MYEONGGOG and (6) STAR LIST are others who should be in at least the placing frame.

Selections (11) Lucky Bonghwa (10) Dae Unha (3) Cheon Goe Seong (2) Bulhuui Myeonggog
Next Best 6, 7
Fast Start 3, 7

Race 9: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Another very competitive race. (5) GRAND DOLPUNG certainly caught the eye when scoring by five-lengths over this distance on April 21st. He is up in class as a result but should be able to deal with that and looks nicely placed to get on or close to the pace early and potentially go all the way. There are a few others up in class too with (6) CHANGE MAKER perhaps best equipped among them to make an immediate impact at this level. Of those with experience at class 3, five of them raced each other over this distance on April 27th. That day (9) LEGEND KING somewhat surprisingly came out on top. Accordingly, he warrants respect here although (7) HEUNGBOK DREAM and (3) BENEDICT are favoured to overturn that form.

Selections (5) Grand Dolpung (6) Change Maker (7) Heungbok Dream (3) Benedict
Next Best 9, 4
Fast Start 3, 5, 12

Race 10: Class 2 (2000M) Allowance / KRW 90 Million

(8) WONDERFUL CHAMPION ground out a narrow win over 1700M on March 31st and while he does carry additional weight today, has as good a chance as any in this ultra-competitive race. He’ll be close to the front from the start and as long as he can handle 2000M for the first time, can win again. The experienced (10) HWANGGEUM BISANG has performed well at this distance before and enters with recent form reading well. He’ll be ridden patiently and can mop up plenty late on. (4) HONEY BUTTER NINO and (9) SMART PARK came home 3rd and 4th respectively when they raced each other at 1900M on April 13th. The former has since raced again underwhelmingly, but both can enter consideration here. (5) THEME DEUNGGEUK is the intriguing one. He’s down in class after losing his way at class 1 and with an apprentice jockey lightening his load, could be very interesting.

Selections (8) Wonderful Champion (10) Hwanggeum Bisang (5) Theme Deunggeuk (9) Smart Park
Next Best 4, 6
Fast Start 4, 8

Race 11: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(12) BEST BULLET comes in off the back of two very impressive wins, the latest a strong finish at class and distance to win by five-lengths on April 28th. He carries an extra 4kg today, but he can overcome it and make it three in a row, coming through late on after the early speed has set it up for him. (1) YAHO THUNDER CAT was nicely eye-catching too when winning by a cool six-lengths over 1300M on April 20th. Up in both class and distance today, he is beautifully weighted and could add to his already impressive resume. He’ll be joined on the early pace by (3) ACE SOLONGO, another up in class after a good win last time and who should go well here. (4) HAE HU and (6) DANCING BLADE are others in the hunt.

Selections (12) Best Bullet (1) Yaho Thunder Cat (3) Ace Solongo (4) Hae Hu
Next Best 6, 11
Fast Start 1, 3, 4
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The weekend’s racing gets underway at Busan on Friday with 9 races from 11:30 to 18:00. Note that a number of Busan jockeys are away in Seoul in advance of Sunday’s YTN Cup. Here are the previews:

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

(7) TITLE CODE has shown promise across four starts so far and comes in following two creditable showings in better company than this, both at today’s distance. From gate 7 he should be on pace early and he’s favoured to win here. (2) ECTON SMILE was behind Title Code last time but has previously beaten a few of these and should be looking for a career-best finish here as should (5) DARK TEMPLAR, who steps back up in trip after an encouraging spin around five-furlongs just two weeks ago, running on well, and should go close here. (1) GOLDEN MANE PARIS and (4) SUN MOUNTAIN are others with the potential to improve.

Selections (7) Title Code (2) Ecton Smile (5) Dark Templar (4) Sun Mountain
Next Best 1, 9
Fast Start 1, 6, 7

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

(2) PERFECT ACE retired from almost nine months out to run a dead-heated 3rd at this distance on March 29th. He’s well drawn to get on pace from the start and should be the one to beat here. (10) TAMNA LIST has been no worse than 4th in three outings so far and looks to have scope for more improvement here. (9) MORNING TAEYANG did nothing wrong when 5th in debut at a mile three weeks ago and can come on for that run back in trip today. (4) CHOEGANG CLEAR hinted at some improvement last start and can maintain that momentum today while (5) DANDI QUEEN struggled at a mile last start but was 3rd on her most recent effort at this distance and can be in the hunt today.

Selections (2) Perfect Ace (10) Tamna List (9) Morning Taeyang (5) Dandi Queen
Next Best 4, 8
Fast Start 2, 6, 8

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

(6) USEUNG TICKET has been knocking at the door in recent efforts and comes in following a useful 5th in better company than this a month ago. A second win looks set to arrive sooner or later, and it could be here. This is a competitive race though. (1) EURO SHINHWA also comes in off the back off some positive recent form and was a very close at hand 3rd last time out. He’ll be on pace from the start and is a big danger. So too is (4) HUNTER PARK. He’s still a maiden but drops back in trip following a solid effort over 1200M three weeks ago and while he’s not always the quickest off the mark, should be in contention here. (3) REALLY ONE and (7) GOP DDA are others in the frame.

Selections (6) Useung Ticket (1) Euro Shinhwa (4) Hunter Park (3) Really One
Next Best 7, 2
Fast Start 1, 3, 8

Race 4: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(6) RAON TOWN has a 2nd and a 3rd from just two starts so far, the latter of which was at this distance on April 26th with a couple of these behind him. He’ll most likely be close to the pace from the start here and is the one to beat. (3) ROYAL TICKET was 4th behind Raon Town in that race a month ago and while he has a couple of lengths to find, that continued a run of good form at this distance and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise were he to improve. (1) BORNE MATTA was 5th that day and while he has plenty to find on the other two, he can still beat plenty once more. (2) GRAND JILJU steps back up in trip following two positive showings at 1300M and can be considered, likely after a fast start. (5) YEONGWON CHAMP looks best of the rest.

Selections (6) Raon Town (3) Royal Ticket (2) Grand Jilju (1) Borne Matta
Next Best 5, 10
Fast Start 2, 6, 7

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

(7) LUCKY NUMBER ONE was just beaten a head at class and distance on May 5th having led for much of the way around. He was favourite that day but should be on pace again and can be given another chance to win. (3) TORNADO KING was 3rd in that race, just over a length in arrears and he looks set to be the principal threat. He remains a maiden but has been getting closer and can close late here. The one-paced (5) BULMYEORUIMARIPGAN finally got his maiden win at the 23rd time of asking last start. His reward is an additional 3kg on his back but while he might not win again, he’ll run on as usual and can pass plenty late. (1) DAEROUI KKUM and (12) GIPPEUM DAY are others in at least the placing hunt.

Selections (7) Lucky Number One (3) Tornado King (5) Bulmyeoruimaripgan (12) Gippeum Day
Next Best 1, 10
Fast Start 2, 7, 10

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

(1) EURO GONGJU led for much of the way around on her latest start, ultimately finishing a close at hand 5th. That was a good race and should stand her in good stead for this slightly softer affair. From the inside gate, she can sit handy and finish strongly. (9) SANGSEUNG POWER has finished 4th in both starts since returning from a full ten-months out. He can come on for both of those here and get closer today. (3) FANTASTIC GIRL similarly enters with recent form reading. Well. She’s a winner at this distance already and is likely to be on pace from the start here. (4) GIDAEHAE and (6) TWO TWO TURBO are others in the frame.

Selections (1) Euro Gongju (9) Sangseung Power (3) Fantastic Girl (4) Gidaehae
Next Best 6, 5
Fast Start 2, 3, 6

Race 7: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Tricky little race this. All are maidens, five imported and three domestic and are racing for a big prize. None of the domestic runners need to be here – they are all still at class 5 – so all have been entered in the hope of getting some prize money in a small field. (5) YEONGGWANGUICHEON is perhaps the best of the locals. He was a close 2nd in a fast race over 1000M three weeks ago on his return from almost a year out. The additional furlong shouldn’t be a problem and he can go close. (6) GIANT’S BIZ ran 5th on debut at this distance on April 19th. He’s from the track’s top stable and previously won a trial in fine fashion and is sure to be well-backed here. (3) MALLI STAR looks to be figuring things out and enters off the back of a decent 3rd place finish at this distance last start while another local, (1) MATCH WINNER drops back in trip following three strong performances over 1300M and can be a threat as well. There is one debut-maker. (4) RISING BOY was an emphatic trial winner back in February and the Bodemeister colt comes in under the radar a little here. Watch the market.

Selections (5) Yeonggwanguicheon (6) Giant’s Biz (4) Rising Boy (1) Match Winner
Next Best 3, 7
Fast Start 1, 4, 5

Race 8: Class 2 (2000M) Allowance / KRW 90 Million

(6) DYNAMIC ROOKIE ran 2nd to a surprisingly emphatic and somewhat unexpected winner over 1900M on May 3rd. That was his first go at class 2 and today he steps up to 2000M for the first time with solid claims to lead all the way. If he does fall short once more, then (2) ROYAL HEART could be the one to take advantage. He comes in having run 3rd – albeit a long way behind a pair of good horses – at class and distance on April 28th and is nicely in the weights again today. (1) WORLD NUMBER ONE ran 5th in that race and can get closer this time although again the weights do him no favours. (5) MAJOR ALPHA was 5th behind Dynamic Rookie last start but is a consistent type who rarely misses by much and should be competing for prize money. (8) MORNING KOREA, up in class but nicely in weight-wise, looks best of the rest.

Selections (6) Dynamic Rookie (2) Royal Heart (5) Major Alpha (1) World Number One
Next Best 8, 4
Fast Start 3, 6

Race 9: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(11) YEONGGWANGUIFORCE was beaten half a length on a wet track at class and distance on April 26th, having led until close to home. He’s won two of six starts in total and looks to have plenty of scope for further development. (2) JEONGSU SIDAE steps back in trip after some solid performances at a mile and further. He’s never actually run at a distance as short as this before and could well be ridden aggressively early on. If he gets to the lead, he’ll have a big chance. (4) POWER AMAZING won back to back races over a mile and 1000M in March and April to get promoted to this level. He ran 2nd over 1200M on his first try at it three weeks ago and should be in the hunt here as well. (7) BLACK TEN and (9) EAST WIND are others to take into consideration.

Selections (11) Yeonggwanguiforce (2) Jeongsu Sidae (4) Power Amazing (7) Black Ten
Next Best 9, 10
Fast Start 2, 5, 7, 9
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Never write-off Kim Young-kwan. It’s the golden rule of Korean racing but some of us still fall prey to it from time-to-time. Just when it looked as though the nation’s dominant trainer could go through a season without winning one of the three-year-old Classic races, up pops Deep Mind to trounce fifteen rivals and win the Oaks by eight-lengths. At odds of 23/1.

Korea Oaks 2019 - Deep Mind - YouTube

While neither were expected to win, Deep Mind wasn’t even trainer Kim’s first-string. That was Amazon Yeogeol, but under Seo Seung-un, Deep Mind bounded out of gate 14 and got across to the lead. It was a simple plan – get in front on a very wet track and let the rest of them get in trouble in the mud and spray behind. It worked.

Dae Wan Ma, Sports Seoul Trophy winner and 2nd in the KRA Cup Mile, was sent off as the prohibitive favourite but having settled in the front half of the pack, jockey Antonio Da Silva had to get to work on her a full three-furlongs from home. The response was muted and she finished well down the field.

Instead, Deep Mind galloped away from the pack for a dominant triumph. Heung Buja got closest in 2nd place ahead of Miss Fact in 3rd making for a trifecta dividend in excess of 20,000/1. Peter Wolsley’s Top Of World was 4th and Luigi Riccardi’s Mamma Roma a creditable 5th.

For jockey Seo Seung-un it was a first win in the race but for trainer Kim it was a fifth with him previously having won four consecutive editions between 2013 and 2016. It’s also a first Classic win this season for Busan-trained horse after Seoul based gallopers Global Chukje and Wonderful Fly took out the KRA Cup Mile and Korean Derby respectively.

Deep Mind is by Menifee and is out of Urrikot (by Creek Cat), who was bred and raced in Korea. It was the seventh race of her career and her fourth win.

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The 2019 Korean Oaks takes place at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon and a full field of 16 runners are set to assemble for the fillies’ Classic. There are 6 races in total at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10 while at Seoul there are eleven races from 10:45 to 18:00.

Last year, Special Stone won the Korean Oaks for Seoul (Pic KRA)

Dae Wan Ma is set to be hot favourite for the Oaks. She ran 2nd in the KRA Cup Mile having won Seoul’s Classic trial a month earlier. She’s been to Busan before when 2nd in last December’s Breeders’ Cup and she is the one to beat.

Last Sunday we saw an odds-on chance go down in the Korea Derby, however, and Dae Wan Ma is no sure thing. The beaten jockey last week was Yoo Seung-wan and he arrives in Busan with the chance to put things right on Smile Girl, winner of Seoul’s Oaks trial in April.

Peter Wolsley’s Top Of World looks firmly in the hunt as well, while Mighty Power and Amazon Yeogeol are also in contention for two trainers, Baik Kwang-yeol and Kim Young-kwan, who are in danger of having an unusually fallow Classic series. Doctor Thunder, so disappoitning in the Cup Mile, is the wildcard. Here is horse by horse for the full cards at both Seoul & Busan:

Seoul Race 1: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

  1. GEUMSEONG YEOWANG – Best of 5th from 10 starts so far. Drops back in trip having finished last on muddy track over 1300M three weeks ago. Hard to recommend here.
  2. BEST MAID – 10th behind Tri Thunder at 1300M on April 20th but was 4th on most recent effort at this distance in March. Minor money at best.
  3. ECO BROTHER – Winner on debut at this distance on wet track in December. 10th and 6th in two starts at this level since. Better draw today and outside place chance.
  4. GOLD PERILLA – Up in class having registered his maiden win at the ninth time of asking making all over this trip on April 21st. More to find in this company but solid placing chances again under good apprentice jockey.
  5. UNAK HABIO – Recent form very cold. Only possible angle is he drops back in trip and has a top jockey on board, but neither are enough to make him a recommend.
  6. BLUE FIRE – Still a maiden after ten attempts but has been very close with four runner-up finishes including last time at class and distance. Generally sits just off the pace, top jockey stays on and a big chance here.
  7. PARTY POWER – Makes her 51st start today, and occasionally picks up some minor prize money. Always runs on late but usually leaves a little too much to do and similar is likely today.
  8. NAMJJOK NARA – Her best finishes at this level have been at 1700M and while she carries a light weight here, she wouldn’t seem to have the speed to make an impact.
  9. TRI THUNDER – Winner on debut last September and has been no worse than 6th in six subsequent outings at this level. Back in trip today after a 3rd place over 1300M last time and solid claims.
  10. STRONG CUPID – Yet to finish any better than 9th in six attempts during which she’s been dropped in class to little effect. Avoid.
Selections (6) Blue Fire (9) Tri Thunder (4) Gold Perilla (7) Party Power
Next Best 3, 5
Fast Start 3, 4, 5, 9

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

  1. EDWIN – Never better than 5th in six starts so far. Back in trip today but slow starter and easy to toss here.
  2. TOUR BROTHER – Looked ready to score at the end of last year and was sent off odds-on favourite in consecutive races finishing 3rd in the first of them but last in the second having hung-out throughout. Last seen running 8th over 1300M in March. Talented but unreliable.
  3. RAON HAWK – Offered very little in three starts so far and will need some significant improvement here.
  4. JEONGMUN SARANG – Ran 2nd in valuable juvenile race in September but struggled against the track’s best of his crop a month later. Disappointing 4th when hot favourite at the end of March but with a good start, can go close here.
  5. JEONGDONG SARANG – Only two starts so far – sent off at nearly 400/1 last time and ran like it. Booking of Alan Munro the positive and while he might need to get off and push, that might be enough to find the minor money here.
  6. SEOUL CITY – Getting closer across three outings and was a good and close 2nd at the distance last time having led until close to home. Can get on pace again and could go one better.
  7. WONDERFUL BRAVO – No better than 7th in seven tries and comes in after a slow 7th of 12 over this distance last time. Much improvement required.
  8. DALLINEUN ACE – Yet to offer much in the way of speed though recent some modest support two weeks ago after a promising trial. Promptly finished 9th of 12. This is weak though so improvement possible.
Selections (4) Jeongmun Sarang (6) Seoul City (2) Tour Brother (5) Jeongdong Sarang
Next Best 1, 8
Fast Start 2, 4, 6

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

  1. NONGBON JARANG – Last all the way round on debut last October and not seen again until trialling underwhelmingly at the end of March. Watching brief here.
  2. REGINA – Managed a 4th place two starts ago but struggled on latest a month ago at this trip. Has been slowly away on three of her four starts so far and is an outsider here.
  3. JACKS KHAN – Hasn’t beaten many in four attempts so far and was sent back to trial after latest effort in March. Leave well alone.
  4. JEONGMUN SAI – 3rd on debut at 1000M was followed by a 2nd place over 1300M when he led until the closing stages. Back in trip by half a furlong today and a big chance of leading all the way.
  5. WIND SKY – Much improved 2nd over 1300M last start. Will need to find more here but can be considered for further progress.
  6. BLUE BAND – “Full” brother to President’s Cup and Grand Prix Stakes winner Indie Band, he’s not quite lived up to that so far with 5th and 7th from two starts. Showed prominently over 1300M last start before weakening in closing stages. Could improve at 1200M today.
  7. MEISEI DREAM – First-time state but she just scraped through a trial in the slowest possible qualifying time. Watching brief here.
  8. COLORS DE LAGO – Some high hopes on debut after a positive trial and has offered glimpses. 5th of 9 at this distance last time and can improve.
  9. SONGAM RAPUNZEL – Debut-maker. Nothing special in trials although it was run at a slow pace. Others are preferred.
  10. HAWK ARIRANG – Has shown slight but noticeable improvement across three starts so far and was 6th of 12 last time, running on creditably. Can improve again.
  11. GOLD LEVEL – Getting slightly better and comes in following back to back 5th place finishes. Top jockey on again and a chance in this company.
Selections (4) Jeongmun Sai (5) Wind Sky (6) Blue Band (11) Gold Level
Next Best 8, 10
Fast Start 4, 6

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

  1. UNJU YEONGUNG – Yet to finish any better than 7th in nine attempts and it would be no surprise if that record was maintained here.
  2. RAISING ANGEL – A winner on debut last December, her worst in four subsequent starts was her only other try at further than 1000M. Nevertheless, she beat a couple of these last time and is well drawn to get on pace. A chance.
  3. BLESSING ROAD – Six starts at this level since maiden win last September with a best of 3rd. 5th behind some useful ones last time and jockey booking a plus.
  4. SPECIAL GOLD – First start since last August. She trialled adequately enough in April but others likely to be favoured first-up here.
  5. SUJEBI – Recent form has been uninspiring. Did manage a 5th place at 1000M in February but has struggled when asked to go any further.
  6. PRIVATE MAN – Still a maiden but no worse than 5th in six starts to date. Up in class after latest near miss but should be competitive.
  7. HUNTER HAWK – Finished last on his return from five months out in April. Never any better than 3rd and up against it here.
  8. P.K. JEONSA – Got promoted to this class with back to back runner-up finishes in February and March but was 8th on first try at the level on April 21st. Should be on pace and worth another chance today.
  9. VICTORY KING – Up in class today after consecutive 2nd place finishes. No worse than 6th in five outings to date. Will need to improve but not impossible.
  10. RICH RULES – Winner on debut and then 3rd in both subsequent starts at this class. Up in trip for the first time today, the draw isn’t ideal but is she gets away well, she has a real chance.
  11. MAENGSAN HERO – Yet to finish in the top three, he’s an import who has been dropped from class 4 but hasn’t found things much more amenable.
Selections (10) Rich Rules (2) Raising Angel (9) Victory King (8) P.K. Jeonsa
Next Best 6, 4
Fast Start 2, 3, 8, 10

Seoul Race 5: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

  1. DAEGUN CHEONHA – Never worse than 3rd, he got his maiden win over 1300M last start. Up in class today, he looks well in again and can win again.
  2. MALIBU GINGER – 3rd behind Crazy Wiki and M J Power over 1200M on April 20th. Previous effort at this distance didn’t go well but can be given a chance here.
  3. NEUNGRYEOK SIDAE – Class and distance winner at the end of March and followed up with 5th of 10 on a wet track three weeks ago. Apprentice jockey gets the weight back down today and she’ll be in the hunt.
  4. FLYING BOSS – Still a maiden after fourteen attempts but he’s had plenty of near-misses. However, he comes in having finished 11th behind several of these last time so has plenty of form to overturn.
  5. CHEUNGDAM GENIE – Maiden winner in February but weakened on first try at class and distance in tough company on April 13th. Worth another chance here.
  6. GOLDEN DIAL – Hung inwards throughout last start which was his first at this class. With better manner can improve today.
  7. M J POWER – 2nd behind Crazy Wiki over 1200M on April 20th, coming from well off the pace. Attempts this trip for the first time and could make for an interesting outsider.
  8. MUNHAK TIGER – First start since running 3rd behind M J Power in February and first at this distance. Can come from off the pace and finish strongly.
  9. CRAZY WIKI – Beat four of these on his way to a four-length win at this class over 1200M on April 20th. First try at this distance today, he’ll be on speed again and a repeat isn’t impossible.
  10. MATCH CAPTAIN – Struggled in the TJK Trophy last month, losing a shoe in the process. Going well before that though so don’t completely write-off.
  11. MUNHAK TSUNAMI – 4th behind Crazy Wiki at 1200M on April 20th when sent off as favourite. Today’s distance should suit better, and he can overturn that form.
  12. JEOKBYEOK SHINHWA – A winner at this class over 1400M on April 21st. He carries an additional 4kg today but could potentially repeat. Will look to come from well off the pace so draw not a problem.

Selections (1) Daegun Cheonha (11) Munhak Tsunami (9) Crazy Wiki (5) Cheungdam Genie
Next Best 12, 7
Fast Start 1, 2, 9, 10

Busan Race 2: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

  1. NUMBER ONE STAR – Three-year-old chestnut who possesses a good turn of foot. Broke through last start when powering through the line for a two-length win. Drops 2kg with the step up to Class 5 company today. One to follow going forward. Both starts to date have been on rain affected tracks which at this stage looks to be the case on Sunday.
  2. GARAK GONGWON – Eight-year-old who has had ninety-one starts from just one win. Has placed over the mile at his past two starts but drops back to the 1300m for this event. Place chance based on recent form.
  3. JOYFUL MEMORY – Consistent type who has picked up a cheque at her past four starts. Expect to sit in the first half of the field and based on previous efforts keep her in your exotics.
  4. GUKMIN STAR – Gutsy performance last start when going down less than a length over the 1300m behind Keep Going. That was his first start in Class 5 company as he appears to keep improving. Draw is ideal for his pattern of racing shown to date.
  5. ON DAY – Won in Class 6 company midway through last year but has since had eight starts for one top three finish. Looks a tough assignment for the four-year-old.
  6. ANY GOOD DAY – Enormous effort last start as she sat three wide on speed to miss by a nose on the line finishing second. Track was wet on the day of that effort and at this stage it appears she will have the same conditions. Big chance.
  7. CHEONSANG OREUM – Each way chance as the three-year-old looks for her second win at start nine. Versatile type who has shown she can sit on speed or settle rearwards. Keep safe in your exotics.
  8. DAEHO JILJU – Three-year-old colt who broke through at start five last time out. Worked forward to sit outside the leader and finished the race off strongly to win by a length. Query appears to be the drop back to 1300m.
  9. GOLDEN SHARP – Saluted in Class 6 company two starts back and then finished down the track last time out when stepping up in grade for the first time. His maiden win was over the 1300m which he will go over once again in this event after dropping back to the five furlongs last start.
Selections (6) Any Good Day (1) Number One Star (8) Daeho Jilju (9) Golden Sharp
Next Best 4, 3
Fast Start 3, 5, 6, 9

 

Seoul Race 6: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

  1. DALLYEORA LEO – Her one win was over two years ago in a 1000m event. Randomly runs a place in this company but hard to suggest on recent form.
  2. FINAL CANGINO – Australian bred first starter for trainer Luigi-Salvatore Riccardi. Trialed late April and finished second in a time of 1.02.3 on a sloppy rated track. May pay to watch his first run before jumping in.
  3. DADABI – United Stated import who has failed to impress at his first two race starts. Needs to improve to figure.
  4. SOULY MAJESTIC – Has failed to finish off her races at her first four career starts. Needs to improve a few lengths before including.
  5. CHAPEL ACE – Has shown glimpses of form and gets a better draw today. Steps back up to the 1200m today and is a place chance.
  6. KINGS STEP – Australian bred three-year-old who trialed last month and finished third. Time for the trial was not quick given it was a wet track.
  7. GAL IP – Has won her past two over the 1000m and steps up to the 1200m for this assignment. Has been consistent throughout her six career starts and should get every chance to win with just the 51kg.
  8. TAP MAGIC MASTER – Australian bred who has had just three runs this year and failed to get close. Place chance at best.
  9. SPEED BOSS – Fourth career start and has finished a long way from the winner on all three starts to date.
Selections (7) Gal Ip (5) Chapel Ace (1) Dallyeora Leo (4) Souly Majestic
Next Best 2, 6
Fast Start 1, 4, 7

Busan Race 3: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

  1. GOLD TICKET – Lightweight chance who may find this tough coming off a ten-length defeat when fifth in Class 4 company last start.
  2. SINBIHAN BARAM – Went to the Busan Ilbo at Group 3 level last start and was severely outclassed. Last win was four starts back in weaker company.
  3. FLYING RANGER – Had his first start back since August last year when finishing second to Sparkle. Subsequently elevated in the ratings and now lines up in Class 3 company. Look for improvement second-up.
  4. YEONGCHEON STAR – Dominant victory last start when winning by seven lengths. Led from barrier to past last start and will be looking to sit on speed again. Goes over the six furlongs again which is a plus.
  5. CHROME MAGIC – Second run this preparation after finishing fifth when resuming. Comes out of the Blue Chipper race last start when there was thirteen lengths between first and second so he way beaten a considerable margin. Wait for improvement.
  6. I’M YOUR LEMON – Went around with the fillies in the Selangor Turf Club Trophy race last start when beaten four lengths finishing fifth. Drops back to the 1200m today which is more suitable. Strong chance with the lightweight.
  7. ASTONISHING – USA bred gelding who his having just his third start. Impressed on debut when third behind Brave Kingdom and then blew them away last start winning by four lengths in Class 4 company. With just the 52kg on his back he may prove hard to head.
  8. MUJEOK YEONGUNG – First run since December and will have to carry the top weight of 57kg. Winner of four from five starts. Has not carried more than 55kg to victory in previous runs but looks one to follow going forward.
  9. KOREA DRAGON – Import who is yet to salute but was promoted to Class 3 company after some handy efforts in weaker races. Looks outclassed.
  10. CHRISTIANO – Grey filly who was setting the track alight until sustaining a chip fracture forcing her off the track since May last year. No trial going into this so hard to gauge. Hard assignment first up but she has ability.
  11. JUSTINE MAGIC – Four-year-old import who has to carry 56kg after finishing second in similar grade at his past two starts. Has been sent out at short odds at every career start but this looks his toughest test to date.
  12. PERFECT SINHWA – Sustained a chip fracture after winning in July last year. Trialed in March leading into this preparation. Has won four of his six career starts and finished second on the other occasions. Front running type so map him to go forward early.
Selections (7) Astonishing (6) I’m Your Lemon (12) Perfect Sinhwa (8) Mujeok Yeongung
Next Best 11, 9
Fast Start 1, 8, 10, 12

 

Race 7 Class 4 (1200m) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

  1. GO GO BI – First time being stretched out to the 1200m after some reasonable performances over the five furlongs. Sire and Dam both won over middle distances suggesting distance won’t be a problem.
  2. NAMCHON DAY – Failed to get close from three career starts. Has capitulated in the run home each start so hard to suggest.
  3. SEUNGNI GIEOK – Gone off the boil for quite some time now. Beaten by big margins at his most recent runs even with relief in the strength of his races. Another that will find this difficult.
  4. YORI JORI – Eleven start maiden who has ran some handy races lately. Gets a weaker assignment and has each way claims.
  5. RICH MINE – Seems a horse that particularly does not appreciate the kick back. When she has managed to get on speed she has performed well. If she can muster at the start, she will..
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Saturday’s action is at Seoul where there are 11 races from 10:45 to 18:00. French jockey Ryan Curatolo makes his Korean debut with three rides. Here are the previews:

Thank you @korearacing @jo_krbc
Seoul racecourse pic.twitter.com/ebeV8GrkTq

— Ryan curatolo (@RyanCuratolo) May 17, 2019

Race 1: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Fillies and mares only here. (1) MENI GRAND is up in class following a five-length win over this distance on April 14th. That was her third career start and the victory had been coming. She led from gate to wire that day and is expected to do the same here. (4) FLOWER ROAD is up in class too after a similarly dominant maiden score last month and while she perhaps has a little more to find, should be nice and competitive at this level. (6) WONDERFUL RUBY beat a couple of these on her way to 5th place at class and distance on April 7th and should get closer today. (8) HAMYANG SANSAM and (9) CHEONROK are others in the hunt.

Selections (1) Meni Grand (4) Flower Road (6) Wonderful Ruby (9) Cheonrok
Next Best 8, 2
Fast Start 1, 3, 8, 9

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

Small field and a likely strong favourite in the shape of (6) PRIMA NIKE. She’s been knocking on the door since debut with a 3rd and no fewer than four 4th place finishes. Up against softer company today, she should get it right. Accordingly, she’ll be hot favourite. (1) HWARYONG looks clear next best. He ran 4th on debut in February, hanging wide all the way round and while he’s not raced since, he went well in a trial at the end of April and if he brings that form – and improved manners – to the track, he can go close. It’s slim pickings beyond those two with (2) DAEDAE SONSON and (8) GYEONGGUKJIMA perhaps having most potential to improve.

Selections (6) Prima Nike (1) Hwaryong (2) Daedae Sonson (8) Gyeonggukjima
Next Best 5, 7
Fast Start 4, 6, 8

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

A maiden for three-year-olds only and it’s not very strong. (6) ANYANG JAGUAR, with an improved 4th place last time in better company than this is the slight pick. He can settle just off the early lead and finish strongly. (12) HEY DREAMER last raced in September last year when he was 2nd in a similar race to this. He trialled competently two weeks ago, and the jockey booking is notable. (4) GREEN CINDY hasn’t done too much wrong in two starts so far and can also be considered for improvement. In such a weak race it’s worth looking at the first-timers. There are three of them and (8) KING SON, who trialled nicely on a wet track at the end of April looks to have the best chance first-up.

Selections (6) Anyang Jaguar (12) Hey Dreamer (8) King Son (4) Green Cindy
Next Best 9, 7
Fast Start 4, 8, 12

Race 4: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(4) HOPE KINGDOM has a 2nd place to his name and comes in off the back of a good 3rd place at 1300M on April 20th. He’s one of five here who tackle two-turns for the first time, and it may well suit. (3) TAP MUSIC was 4th in that race last month on what was just his second career start and he too steps up in trip with solid hopes here. (1) KING OF EAGLE is the other one in the field who has a runner-up finish in his account already. He enters following a solid 4th place at 1300M last month and should be competitive again. Of those with experience at the distance, (7) CHOEGANG PARTY looks the best. He ran a close 3rd on his first try at it on April 26th, coming from well off the pace to finish well and should go close again.

Selections (4) Hope Kingdom (7) Choegang Party (1) King Of Eagle (3) Tap Music
Next Best 6, 5
Fast Start 1, 4

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

(8) RAON MIRACLE beat a couple of these on her way to 2nd place at class and distance on April 14th. She remains a maiden after twenty attempts but has been getting closer and the assistance of Alan Munro today could be what she needs to get over the line in front.  (11) RAISE ME UP and (6) BLACK GINGA came home 4th and 5th respectively in that same race and while they do have a couple of lengths to make up on Raon Miracle, they can be competitive here. However, the main threat looks likely to be (3) BLACK WINGWING. She comes in following back to back 3rd place finishes, both at 1000M and steps up significantly in trip today. She’s likely to be on pace from the start and if she stays the distance, she can win.

Selections (8) Raon Miracle (3) Black Wingwing (6) Black Ginga (11) Raise Me Up
Next Best 5, 9
Fast Start 3, 5, 9

Race 6: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(10) JANGSAN JEGUK was a somewhat surprising winner at class and distance on April 14th. The manner of that win must be respected and while he’s not favoured to repeat, he can go close. Favourite that day was (6) GEUMA ZENITH. It was the latter’s first try at this level and having not got the start he needed, he only managed to finish 4th. He can improve today. Also set to improve here is (2) BEST LINE. He tackled 1700M on his first try at this class on April 13th and while he had previously won at that distance, struggled to see it out against better horses. Back down in trip today, he should be much better. (3) LUCAS and (11) GLOBAL CHEONHA others firmly in the hunt.

Selections (2) Best Line (6) Geuma Zenith (11) Global Cheonha (10) Jangsan Jeguk
Next Best 3, 7
Fast Start 2, 8, 11

Race 7: Class 4 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(6) DAEBAK HAENGJIN has been showing signs of figuring things out and comes in after back to back runner-up finishes, both times beaten by good horses. Today should be her day. She’ll come from just behind an early pace that will most likely be set by (4) TOP BRAIN and (7) LIL’PATRON, both of whom have proven competent at this level and if they can get forward this time, can give the favourite a run for her money. (3) GOLDEN STEP is inconsistent but on her day can go well in this company while (9) HALO BIRD similarly is a proven money winner at this level and can’t be discounted.

Selections (6) Daebak Haengjin (4) Top Brain (7) Lil’Patron (9) Halo Bird
Next Best 3, 8
Fast Start 3, 4, 7, 9

Race 8: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(4) BEST STAR has a 100% record having won his first three outings by a combined twelve lengths. The most recent of those was at this class over 1300M on March 30th and there is little to suggest that that he won’t maintain his record here. He’ll likely lead all the way. Best Start will be hot favourite with (5) WINNING BLADE probably best placed to challenge. He was just beaten a length last time out on April 14th over 1000M and enters here in good shape for an in-form stable. (1) SMARTY ADELE had a hard time in a tough Trophy race last start but should be better today while (8) GREEN DARC and (10) NIMUI HYANGGI, the latter on a winning streak of his own, are others who can go close.

Selections (4) Best Start (5) Winning Blade (10) Nimui Hyanggi (1) Smarty Adele
Next Best 8
Fast Start 1, 4, 5, 10

Race 9: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(9) GLOBAL QUEEN made all to score at class and distance on March 23rd. She carries an additional 3kg today but the lightly-raced five-year-old looks to have potential for plenty more improvement and is the one to beat again here. (11) MACHA BUCHA was a somewhat surprising 3rd at class and distance a month ago and can challenge for the places again although (3) GRAY SOCKS, who was well back in the same race, should really be looking to overturn that form. (4) HEUNG BARAM didn’t suit at 1400M last start and should be much better today while (1) MUSA is another who looks nicely in here.

Selections (9) Global Queen (4) Heung Baram (1) Musa (3) Gray Socks
Next Best 11, 7
Fast Start 1, 4, 7, 9

Race 10: Class 3 (1800M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(3) SAMSAM VICTORY and (9) THE KING came home 1st and 2nd with just a neck separating them when they raced each other at class and distance on April 7th. The King was favourite that day and he could well overturn the form here although both have serious claims. (8) DONGBANGUI GIEOK remans a maiden after ten attempts. He comes in following a good 4th place in a strong class and distance race and shouldn’t be far away here. (1) GEUMA KINGDOM and (2) STAR POWER are others with at least placing claims.

Selections (9) The King (8) Dongbangui Gieok (3) Samsam Victory (2) Star Power
Next Best 1, 7
Fast Start 3, 12

Race 11: Class 2 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million

(2) HAVANA CHARLIE beat (1) SPRING BACK as the pair came home 2nd and 4th in the valuable TJK Trophy at this distance a month ago. Both were a long way behind an unexpectedly good winner and the pair renew hostilities here. It could go either way, but Spring Back is marginally favoured to overturn that form. Both will have to deal with the up and coming (8) RAPIDOCUS. He’s won five of six starts so far to come rapidly up in class. This is significantly tougher than anything he has faced so far but he should still be competitive. (7) BUNGMA DREAM and (9) COMPLETE SWEEP are others who can be dangerous.

Selections (1) Spring Back (2) Havana Charlie (8) Rapidocus (7) Bungma Dream
Next Best 9
Fast Start 1, 2
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After last week’s Derby in Seoul, attention switches to the South Coast and the fillies as the 2019 Korean Oaks takes place at Busan Racecourse this Sunday. And it’s at Busan where the weekend’s action gets underway with 9 races on Friday running from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Former Busan Champion Jockey Kim Yong Geun is one of a number of Seoul-based riders in town for this Sunday’s Oaks (Pic: Ross Holburt/KRA)

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

(1) MAJOR PUNCH debuted all the way back last September but had a number of setbacks before finally returning three weeks ago and running 2nd over 1000M. She’s up in trip today and will be one of many looking to get on pace early but she should have too much for this field. (8) TOHAM IMPACT ran 3rd behind Major Punch last time and is set to be a danger again while (4) TIZBE ran well for 4th on debut a month ago, beating a couple of these in the process and can build on it here. (9) TWO TWO SIMON and first-time starter (11) GIJEOGUI JILJU are others who should be in the hunt.

Selections (1) Major Punch (8) Toham Impact (4) Tizbe (11) Gijeogui Jilju
Next Best 9, 6
Fast Start 1, 8, 9, 11, 13

Race 2: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(5) ULTRA POWER is up in class following a two-length score at this distance to secure his maiden win on what was his fourth career start on April 19th. He made all that day and is nicely drawn to get to the lead again with potential for another win. Just shy of a year separated (12) JEONGUIUI GITBAL’s first and second career starts. He came back with a flourish though, registering a five-length victory over this distance on April 12th. He came out of the same wide gate that day and while this is tougher, a repeat isn’t impossible. (2) GAMDONGUI SUNGAN remains a maiden but joins the other two up in class following a couple of near-misses and should be competitive at this level. Of those who have class 5 experience already, (3) YEOWANGUI TANSAENG and (9) NORMAL CLASSIC look the most capable.

Selections (5) Ultra Power (12) Jeonguiui Gitbal (2) Gamdongui Sungan (3) Yeowangui Tansaeng
Next Best 9, 7
Fast Start 3, 5, 9, 12

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

Three-year-old maidens here with only five of the fourteen having raced before. Three of those five did reasonably well so we’ll cover them first. (7) YESULUI GYEUNGJI was perhaps the most impressive, running a useful 3rd in a competitive race at this distance on April 19th. HE can have learned from that and can push on here. (10) PAGEUKCHEON too did nothing wrong when 4th on his own debut back in January and while he has had one or two setbacks since, returns here in good shape and can go well. (14) VEGA THUNDER came from off the pace to run 2nd at the beginning of April. She was scratched from a scheduled run two weeks ago when she refused to load into the gate but has since passed her stalls test and if she jumps, she should be close. As for the first-timers, (8) NANSAN YEOJE and (2) PAI BLADE looked best in trials.

Selections (7) Yesului Gyeungji (10) Pageukcheon (8) Nansan Yeoje (2) Pai Blade
Next Best 14, 1
Fast Start 4, 8, 10, 12

Race 4: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(9) YEONGGWANGUI CHEER ran an improved 2nd last start on April 19th (beaten by Ultra Power who we saw in race 1) by two-lengths with a couple of these behind him. Under Kim Yong Geun today, he’ll likely look to get forward early and can go one better. (11) CHANGE BACK was 3rd in that race, three-lengths back and can get closer today although the main danger may ultimately be (2) ZET KING. He was an improved 2nd on April 12th and from gate 2, can sit handy and finish strongly. (1) DYNAMIC BOLT and (3) HAENGBOK KOREA are others who should be in at least the placing frame.

Selections (9) Yeonggwangui Cheer (2) Zet King (11) Change Back (3) Haengbok Korea
Next Best 1, 8
Fast Start 1, 3, 5, 9

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

(12) FUSION PARK has been 3rd in both his latest two outings at 1300M and a mile. He was a beaten favourite last time, but Bart Rice’s colt looks worth another chance to get things right today. (14) NAEGA SAEGANGJA is another who has found himself beaten when market leader, but he’s ever been worse than 4th in five outings to date and surely maintains that record today. While the wide draw does him no favours, he has generally run in stiffer company than this and a breakthrough is not impossible. (1) SMART WINNER and (7) USEUNG STORY are both better than their latest respective results suggest and can improve here while (5) LEGACY is the wildcard. His solitary start was more than a year ago, but he looked handy enough when trialling up in April and the jockey/trainer combination will tempt some.

Selections (12) Fusion Park (14) Naega Saegangja (1) Smart Winner (5) Legacy
Next Best 7, 11
Fast Start 2, 3, 5

Race 6: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(9) JOY OF LUCK was last seen running 8th in the KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the Triple Crown. Neither company nor distance seemed to suit that day but back in class 4 and back at 1300M, he should be far happier and looks the one to beat. (10) OCEAN PHOENIX had a poor day at the office last start but was going well prior to that and should be better today while by contrast (1) BAENGNYEON SIDAE was a good winner at this class over 1200M on April 21st. He carries an additional 3kg this time but remains firmly in the hunt. (4) TIME SPEC and (7) OS HILL are other contenders in what’s a good race.

Selections (9) Joy Of Luck (1) Baengnyeon Sidae (10) Ocean Phoenix (4) Time Spec
Next Best 7, 3
Fast Start 4, 5, 9

Race 7: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

After winning on debut, (9) SSONSAL has followed up with a 4th and 5th, the latter in a competitive Trophy race last month where, with a bit more luck, he might have finished 3rd. He can come from off the pace here and could return to the winner’s circle. (11) NAKITA won two of her first three in fine style before having a couple of setbacks. She weakened on her return to action at the end of March but after a further seven weeks out, could be much better today. (6) MAJOR ANGEL is already a class and distance winner and is well drawn to be on pace here with solid claims to go all the way. (2) MR. KOREA and (4) TAP SOCKS both come in off runner-up finishes on their respective latest starts and both can be dangerous in this company.

Selections (9) Ssonsal (11) Nakita (6) Major Angel (4) Tap Socks
Next Best 2, 3
Fast Start 3, 5, 6, 11

Race 8: Class 2 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 90 Million

(9) PRO CONSUL has won both his starts this year, the latter a four-length score in a valuable Trophy race. He steps up to two-turns for the first time today but looks a very solid prospect and is favoured to keep his 100% record for 2019 intact. (2) MUHAN YEOLJEONG was a very good 2nd at this class over 2000M three weeks ago and looks nicely in to go well again here. (6) ACEUI SEONMUL beat a couple of these on his way to 2nd place at class and distance on April 19th and can aim for a repeat under a similarly light weight today while (5) HIDDDEN CHAMP is already a class and distance winner and should be in the hunt as well. (4) THE GRAND, 5th behind Aceui Seonmul last start, looks best of the rest.

Selections (9) Pro Consul (2) Muhan Yeoljeong (6) Aceui Seonmul (5) Hiddden Champ
Next Best 4, 10
Fast Start 2, 5, 6, 9

Race 9: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(3) SINHYEOKMYEONG returned from ten months off to run 3rd, beating four of these in the process, on April 21st over 1200M. He was quite slow to begin that day and with a better start, could well be the one to beat here. Of those behind him that day, (2) EUNGNIBYEOSU, who has raced once since and performed much better, and (4) UJU DAEWANG are probably best placed to get closer today but bigger challenges are likely to come from elsewhere. (8) MAPLE CLASSIC won a very tough race at class and distance on March 29th and then came 4th carrying today’s weight in another stiff test four weeks ago. He can settle in the middle of the pack and finish strongly. (6) PRIME RACE is a touch inconsistent but the drop back in trip today may benefit and he is another who can get close.

Selections (3) Sinhyeokmyeong (8) Maple Classic (6) Prime Race (2) Eungnibyeosu
Next Best 4, 9
Fast Start 3, 4, 5, 10
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Johan Victoire has become the latest foreign jockey to ride 100 winners in Korea.

The French rider reached the milestone when guiding 3/1 chance Fast Fashion to victory in race 4 on Korean Derby day at Seoul Racecourse last Sunday.

Victoire debuted in Seoul in July of 2017 scoring success with his very first mount and has maintained a steady stream of winners ever since.

The 100 came up just after he passed 920 rides in the country making for a win rate of almost 11%.

Victoire now lies in 8th place on the all-time foreign jockey list in Korea which is led by Ikuyasu Kurakane, way out in front in 347, followed by Djordje Perovic on 238.

Of the foreign jockeys currently riding in Korea, Franco Da Silva leads with 156 followed by Masa Tanaka on 133 and Antonio Da Silva on 129.

Fast Fashion - Johan Victoire 100th Winner in Korea - YouTube

Victoire is one of three French jockeys licensed at Seoul right now with he and David Breux joined this month by Ryan Curatolo, who is beginning an intial four-month license.

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The 2019 Korean Derby was turned into a one-horse procession as Wonderful Fly got the jump on his rivals early and and powered away to win the nation’s top three-year-old race by a near-record 13-lengths at Seoul Racecourse last Sunday.

While Global Chukje was sent off as a prohibitive favourite, the KRA Cup Mile winner was scarcely a factor. Breaking from an unfavourable gate he was wide the entire way around and could only run on for share of the minor money.

Wonderful Fly has similar bad luck with the draw down in Busan but from a perfect gate 5 this time, the result was never in doubt even if jockey Moon Se Young didn’t quite do as he was told.

“It wasn’t my instruction to lead” said trainer Park Dae-heung, “I wanted to be close but not in front. But I trust this jockey. It turned out he was right”.

Most of the other pre-race fancies such as True King and Glitter also struggled to play much of a role and so it was left to outsiders Simuangui Godong and Power Windy to fill out 2nd and 3rd, the latter coming from a seemingly tailed off last at the top of the stretch.

They finished the race an entire two-seconds after the winner, however.

For trainer Park Dae-heung it was a first Derby in his twenty-third year of training. For Moon Se Young it was his third triumph in the race.

Wonderful Fly is a colt by Tiz Wonderful and out of Butterfly (by Pioneering).

The final race in the 2019 Korean Triple Crown series is the Minister’s Cup over 2000M at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday June 16th.

[English] 2019.05.12. Korean Derby{GI) - YouTube

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The 22nd running of the Korean Derby (KOR G1) takes place at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon (race 9 of 11 races which run from 10:45 to 18:00). Global Chukje, the dominant winner of the KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the 2019 Triple Crown at Busan last month, is set to be hot favourite to score a repeat in the second jewel against fourteen rivals over 1800M.

2019 Korean Derby(G1) Preview - YouTube

Horse by horse comments for the Derby are followed by race-by-race for the rest of the Seoul card and then selections for Busan:

Seoul Race 9: KOREAN DERBY (1800M)

  1. DELTA BROTHER – Didn’t run as a juvenile but has won two of four starts this year, with his latest being a front-running victory over 1700M in April. It was only at class 5 so he is still relatively untested, but it showed good potential.
  1. DO KKI BLADE – Only start this term was a good win over 1700M at class 4 level on April 13th when he made all to win by three-lengths. Plenty of potential for improvement. He’ll want to be on pace from the start but has got the ideal draw to do it. There’s a bit of hype around this horse but it could be justified, especially after the draw.
  1. POWER WINDY – Takes his chance having run 2nd to True King at this distance on April 12th having previously racked up back to back wins at shorter. Ran on well that day but will need to find significantly more here.
  1. GABO DAY – Got wiped out coming out of the gates in the KRA Cup Mile but his 45/1 odds that day were likely fair anyway. A class 4 winner but only up to 1300M, the distance is a question too. Outsider again. First Derby ride for jockey Choi Eun-Gyeung.
  1. WONDERFUL FLY – (KRA Cup Mile 7th) – Won his first two last summer but then suffered some injury setbacks. Showed promise when 2nd on his return over 1400M in March before running a creditable but unthreatening 7th in the Cup Mile. Ran on pleasingly enough from an unpromising position and could be one under the radar here. Multiple champion jockey Moon Se Young takes the ride.
  1. ENDURANCE – Just the one win from six starts so far, he comes in having run 2nd at class 5 over 1300M a month ago. Despite his name, his one attempt around two turns didn’t go well so there are question marks over the distance too. Likely to attempt to get close to the early speed and stay on as long as possible. Outsider.
  1. JANGSAN JOY – Has won twice over a mile at Busan and comes in here following back to back 3rd-place finishes at that same distance at class 4 level, beaten by useful ones both times. Had a couple of setbacks which makes this his first start since February. From a top stable and jockey Franco Da Silva won this race last year. Settles behind the early speed.
  1. DAEJI CHAMP – Two wins as a juvenile but yet to come out on top this term. Runner-up twice to promising filly Doctor Thunder over a mile in January and February. Latest effort saw him 3rd, again at a mile, at class 4 level a month ago. More needed here. Another likely to head for the front from the gate.
  1. WONDERFUL EVIL – Ran 5th in the Seoul Classic trial in March, coming from well-back to finish the quickest of all, but swerved the Cup Mile in order to win over 1700M at class 4 level, once more coming from of the pace. Could be coming into form at the right time and there could be more to come. Live outsider.
  1. SIMJANGUI GODONG – Only debuted in January and after finishing 3rd in his first two, went on to win his next pair, including a wild score over 1700M at class 5 on April 20th when he went so wide, he almost ended up climbing the grandstand. A Korean Derby has actually been in that manner in the past – Final Boss in 2017 – but you’d think he’ll need better manners in order to prevail here.
  1. GAON FORCE – Well backed for the Cup Mile having run a close 3rd in Seoul’s Classic trial in March but was one of a number who was severely hampered coming out of the gate and he accordingly never figured. He’s won 1700M
  1. TRUE KING – A little later coming onto the scene than most rivals, but he was a winner at this distance when he beat Power Windy on his way to scoring by two-and-a-half lengths at class 4 level in April. That puts him right in the hunt. Tucked in behind early lead and finished well. More improvement possible.
  1. GLOBAL CHUKJE – (KRA Cup Mile Winner) – The winner of the KRA Cup Mile, he cruised to the front early that day and won with a full eight-lengths to spare. He’s also a standout winner at class 3 level over 1700M and has shown plenty in the way of speed. He’ll be favourite and won’t need to improve too much to win. He doesn’t need to lead but there will always be question marks about such a wide draw.
  1. MYEONGPUM CHUKJE – (KRA Cup Mile 5th) – Likeable colt who could thrive on the distance. 4th in the Sports Seoul and then 5th in the Cup Mile but both were perhaps too short. Easy gate to wire winner over 1700M at class 4 in January. He has a chance.
  1. GLITTER – (KRA Cup Mile 4th) – Solid but unspectacular 4th in Cup Mile but he does hold a 3rd place in a fast class 3 race over 1800M – albeit on a wet track – which may stand him in good stead here. Needs more and will have to do it from the widest gate but can’t rule out the stable. Settles mid-position.

Verdict: A really competitive renewal of the Korean Derby sees (13) GLOBAL CHUKJE set to start a prohibitive favourite on the back of his demolition job in the KRA Cup Mile a month ago. He is the best horse at this stage and all things being equal, he’ll win. However, there are one or two doubts, not least the draw and it’s not impossible he could find himself in trouble in the straight. If that happens then the front running (2) DO KKI BLADE, the big winner from that draw, could be the one to take advantage leading gate to wire but also that one’s stablemate, the improving (5) WONDERFUL FLY, who can run his own race from gate 5. Then there is Kim Young-kwan’s (15) GLITTER, who can be expected to stick to Global Chukje like glue throughout. The long-shot play could be (9) WONDERFUL EVIL, a really good winner over 1700M last month and with potential to improve further still.

Selections (5) Wonderful Fly (13) Global Chukje (15) Glitter (2) Do Kki Blade
Next Best 9, 12, 14
Fast Start 1, 11, 12, 13

Here’s the race-by-race for the rest of the Seoul Sunday card:

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

Filly maiden to begin with. (4) CRAZY QUEEN came from just behind the early pace to run a strong 2nd on what was just her second start and first at this distance on April 14th. She’s well drawn to get to the front here and can win. (1) SONGAM BARBIE has been knocking on the door for a while and steps back up in trip in good shape to be competitive while (5) BINNANEUN RUBY too has been consistently close and could make a breakthrough here. (2) SUNSHINE MARINE and (8) JANGGUNUI SIDAE were both a touch below par last time but could improve here.

Selections (4) Crazy Queen (1) Songam Barbie (5) Binnaneun Ruby (8) Janggunui Sidae
Next Best 2, 3
Fast Start 3, 4, 9

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

(6) SPEED BELLE was a good winner in a fast time over 1000M on April 13th and steps up in class here with solid claims of a repeat. She raced promisingly over 1300M before so should have few problems with the trip today and can lead all the way. (2) LOOKING GOOD looked anything but when weakening on his latest start. He had a win and a 3rd place before that though, the latter at this class, and is worth another chance off six-weeks break. (7) HANEUL ACE beat Looking Good last time on her way to 5th on what was her first outing since last November and she can build on it today. (11) HAE WANG, up in distance for the first time, and (12) LIVINGSTONE are others in the hunt.

Selections (6) Speed Belle (2) Looking Good (11) Hae Wang (12) Livingstone
Next Best 7, 5
Fast Start 2, 3, 4, 6

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

(2) COLORFUL JOY came home 3rd in both his opening two races over the turn of the year. He’s had some setbacks since but returns here with a good chance of coming out on top. He’s not the quickest of starters but he runs on well and can come through late to score. It won’t be easy though in what is a competitive race. (6) DAEGUN POWER was 2nd on debut over 1000M a month ago and the way he ran through the line suggests the extra distance may suit today. (5) KING OF RULES and (7) MASON both come in off good runner-up finishes on their respective latest outings and should be dangerous today too with the former of those likely to set the pace. (8) BAEKSAEK GWANGCHAE another in the hunt.

Selections (2) Colorful Joy (6) Daegun Pwer (5) King Of Rules (7) Mason
Next Best 8, 10
Fast Start 4, 5, 9

Race 4: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(7) RAON SERENA has won two of her latest three and while she is up significantly in trip today, having never hone at further than 1200M, she is the pick to score again. She’ll try to loop the field early and potentially lead all the way. (4) FAST FASHION is a proven money winner at the distance and while he is a touch inconsistent, looks to be the principal danger here although (6) MAENGJU comes in off a very good 3rd place over 1800M three weeks ago and can be in the thick of things here too. (1) STAR PLATINUM and (3) MIGHTY WING are others who can go well in this company.

Selections (7) Raon Serena (4) Fast Fashion (6) Maengju (1) Star Platinum
Next Best 3, 5
Fast Start 3, 6, 7

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

(6) GAENARI SONG won his first two starts and while he came up well short when tried over 1700M for his first attempt at this level in March, he dropped back to this distance for a close 2nd to Raon Serena on April 6th. He’s favoured to return to the winner’s circle here. Gaenari Song should be on pace early with (7) ACE TRIPLE, who also comes in having won two of four so far. All his starts today have been over 1000M so he is up in distance for the first time as well but should be able to cope with it and is a threat. (2) SANTOS and (3) GREEN K also both ran well over 1000M on their respective latest starts and can play a role here while (1) MONEY DAERYUK has been consistently close in her latest four starts and should continue her solid run of form today.

Selections (6) Gaenari Song (1) Money Daeryuk (7) Ace Triple (2) Santos
Next Best 3, 8
Fast Start 6, 7, 8

Race 6: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(7) THE SPIKER remains a maiden after five attempts but has finished no worse than 4th in any of them. He was 3rd last time out in a stiffer race than this and should really be making his breakthrough here. Last time out, he beat (1) FIGHT TODAY. That colt was racing for just the second time having shown well on debut and should push on here. (8) DAEGUNUI GEOM ran in a much improved 2nd at this distance on his latest start in March and can continue his progress today. (4) DAEGUN BULPAE and (6) MUNHAKUI JEONSA are others who can play a part in the finish.

Selections (7) The Spiker (1) Fight Today (8) Daegunui Geom (6) Munhakui Jeonsa
Next Best 4, 5
Fast Start 3, 4

Race 7: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Unusually for so late in the card, this is a maiden. (2) RAON JEWANG has run very encouragingly since being stepped up to this trip three starts ago, culminating in just being beaten a neck last time out on March 23rd with a couple of these back down the track behind him. This time he can go one better. (7) INDIAN BOSS and (9) CHEONSE MANSE were the pair he beat that day, coming home 4th and 5th respectively. Both those have run indifferently since but could be threats here. A more serious danger, however, is likely to be (4) SPADE MASHIE, who was an improved 2nd over 1300M three weeks ago and tackles two turns for the first time. (8) MENI SPEED is another up in trip and in the placing frame.

Selections (2) Raon Jewang (4) Spade Mashie (7) Indian Boss (8) Meni Speed
Next Best 9, 3
Fast Start 4, 8

Race 8: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Wide open handicap here. We’ll side with (5) BANJIUI HAMSEONG, who since getting his maiden win in December has been coming progressively closer to repeating in three starts at this level, all at today’s distance. He was a beaten favourite last time, but the winner was good, and he can go one better today. (6) JANGSAN FLY was 4th, albeit well beaten on his first try at this class on April 7th and has a good shout of getting closer today. It’s a similar story with (11) BARAMEUL GEURIDA, who was a front-runner 3rd on his first try at this class four weeks ago. He has to overcome a wide draw here but looks capable. (3) SLING STONE and (8) SEUNGRI PLUS are others who can be considered.

Selections (5) Banjiui Hamseong (11) Barameul Geurida (6) Jangsan Fly (3) Sling Stone
Next Best 8, 2
Fast Start 3, 5, 6, 11

Race 9 – Derby – See Above

Race 10: Class 2 (1900M) Allowance / KRW 90 Million

(4) SUPER SOCKS has won three of his last four and five from nine in total, the latest being an all the way win over 1800M on April 20th. He carries a little more weight today and is up to the distance for the first time too but has a very good chance of winning again. (5) FLYING MUNNING ran 2nd at this class over 1800M on March 23rd and can go close again while (9) IGYEOJUMA did the same but at this distance, well beaten by the now class 1 K.N Blue but running well nonetheless. (1) SUPER FLUID’s latest two outings have been in valuable Trophy races and he may find the company more amenable today while (2) CREMOA POWER is up in class having won back to back races in February and March and can be competitive here too.

Selections (4) Super Socks (5) Flying Munning (1) Super Fluid (2) Cremoa Power
Next Best 9, 11, 12
Fast Start 4, 5, 11

Race 11: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(3) BACK TO BACK does indeed come in off back to back victories, both at this class and the latter at this distance on April 7th. He carries significantly more weight today but looks to have every chance of repeating. The big danger is (10) CHOIN BOLT. He won his first two races in fine style before coming home in 4th place when tried at 1700M for his first crack at this level. Dropped back to one-turn today, he should be a much tougher prospect. (5) MONEY ZIF is up in class after a good win in a decent race at this distance a month ago and can be dangerous while (1) RULE OF SUM and (4) HAPPIEST are others who can compete for at least places.

Selections (10) Choin Bolt (3) Back To Back (5) Money Zif (1) Rule Of Sum
Next Best 4, 11
Fast Start 7, 8, 10

Busan Selections (6 races from 12:40 to 17:10)

Race 1: 12, 11, 5, 8
Race 2: 12, 11, 1, 8
Race 3: 9, 7, 4, 1
Race 4: 7, 6, 12, 11
Race 5: 8, 1, 2, 4
Race 6: 8, 3, 2, 6

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