Day: January 8, 2009

Weekend Preview – Come Racing!

New Year Commemorative Race / Iku debuts at Busan
The 2009 Korean Horse Racing season will get underway Friday with a ten race card at Busan Race Park. Seoul and Jeju are up on Saturday and then all three tracks will host a card on Sunday:

Busan Race Park

Friday January 9: Ten races, first post time 13:00.

Sunday January 11: Six races with the first at 12:30. Feature race sees Metropolitan winner Hardride up against Crafty Louis and Bugyeong Choegang over 2000 metres.

Seoul Race Park

Saturday January 10: Twelve races, first post at 11:10. Seoul kicks off its 2009 with the annual “New Year Commemorative” race. The class 2 handicap attracts a full field of 14 headed by Tu Won. On a remarkable run of six straight victories, the youngest horse in the race will face a stiff challenge from Triple Seven, third in the President’s Cup last time out and arguably the best of Seoul’s three year olds last year. Also going are Best Fusion, winner of the HRI Trophy and unbeaten in his last three as well as the always dangerous Free Woody and Indiana Dream. Right after the New Year race, Vicar Love will return looking to make amends for his disappointing showing in the Grand Prix last month. Dropping back to 2000 metres, he’s among a field of nine including Baekjeonmupae, Saerounbisul and Seoul Teukgeup.

Sunday January 11: Eleven races with the first under orders at 11:10. Last year’s New Year’s race winner Hwangnyonsaji makes an appearance in the day’s main race. He’ll have his work cut out against a host of old-stagers including Dashing Champ, Machine Gunand Best Condition. In an earlier race, New Zealand import Coleraine, who won his first three outings but disappointed stepping up in class and distance last time, will get another chance over 1900 metres.

Jeju Race Park hosts pony racing on both Saturday and Sunday. On both days the first of nine comes under orders at 12:30. Jeju hosts its own New Year race on Saturday where the remarkable Baengnokgunji will carry 67kg for a 900 metre dash.

It’s going to be a cold weekend with temperatures in Seoul unlikely to get above freezing all weekend. If it gets warm enough, there’s a chance of snow on Sunday. Busan will be chilly but nowhere near as cold and accordingly the risk for Sunday is that of rain.