Racing returns to Korea this weekend after breaking for Thanksgiving last week and it looks set to be an eventful three days. Big race of the weekend is the Dong-A Ilbo Cup which is off at 17:00 at Seoul Race Park on Sunday. The 1400 metre race is one of the biggest races of the season for fillies and mares and has attracted a field including Samsimnyeonsarang, Challanhanbit, and Gateway.
There are a number of other big name horses on show at Seoul on Saturday and Sunday when cards will get underway at 11:20 with twelve races on Saturday and eleven on Sunday. Former horse of the year, Bally Brae drops back to 1200 metres for the first time in nearly two years in Saturday’s feature. The six year old holds the course record over the distance and will be up against the likes of Gamadongja, Baekjeonmupae and Dankee’s Pal. Myeongmun Gamun has satisfied the starter that he can be trusted to behave at post and the seven year old goes in Sunday’s feature, a 2000 metre handicap.
The first action of the weekend is, as usual, on Friday at Busan Race Park. The South Gyeongnam track hosts ten races on Friday with the first going to post at 13:00. There’s a double feature with handicaps for foreign bred and domestic bred horses. In the domestic, Rainmaker is given another chance to prove his KRA Cup Mile success wasn’t a fluke, but he’s going to have it all to do against a top class field headed by Areumdaun Jilju who has won five out of six this year. Also going is Procyon, the four year old gelding looking to bounce back after two disappointing runs at shorter distances. Namdo Jijon, who finished third in the Derby will be there too as will Annika Queen. Sunday’s Busan card is lower key with six races getting underway at 12:40. One novelty on the card is race 5, a race only for Japanese bred horses.
As usual, Jeju Race Park hosts pony racing on Saturday and Sunday and Sunday sees one of the big races of the season in the shape of the KRA Jeju Cup which is off at 15:55.