After a year’s break, night racing returns to Korea this weekend. High oil prices were blamed for last year’s decision to abandon the usual four weeks of late starts and late finishes but this year, it goes ahead. This year the four weekends are interrupted by a two week total break from racing.
It is a weekend capped by two big races within thirty minutes of each other on Sunday evening: The Gyeongnam-Do Min Ilbo Cup at Busan (preview) and the SBS Cup at Seoul (preview).
Busan will get things underway with a ten race card on Friday. The first will come under orders at 4pm and the last will be at 9pm. Seoul and Jeju take over on Sunday and as usual, all three tracks host cards on Sunday.
Busan Race Park
Friday July 17: 10 races, first post 16:00, last post 21:00
Sunday July 19: 6 races, first post 16:20, last post 20:50
Seoul Race Park
Saturday July 18: 12 races, first post 14:30, last post 21:00
Sunday July 19: 11 races, first post 14:30, last post 21:00
Jeju Race Park (Pony Racing)
Saturday July 18: 10 races, first post 16:30, last post 21:30
Sunday July 19: 10 races, first post 16:30, last post 21:35
It’s been a monsoon filled week on the peninsula with Tuesday seeing the largest amount of rainfall on any one day for many years. It hasn’t rained since but more storms are predicted for Friday and Saturday.
Former Champion Heads SBS Cup Field
Baekgwang will be the star attraction on Sunday as the SBS Cup crowns this year’s first weekend of night racing at Seoul Race Park. In a week when live televised horse racing was outlawed in Korea, it is perhaps a little ironic that the first big race after the ban is sponsored by one of the country’s three main broadcasters and is the only race of the year to usually be shown on that channel.
And with the presence of Baekgwang, champion three year old of 2006, the race has become one of the most eagerly anticipated of the year. Whether the “White Wave” (see full profile) will be anything like his former self will go a long way to determining the outcome and a tough field of nine rivals will assemble to try to prevent him from achieving the fairytale comeback in winning the race his little sister Baekpa did last year.
Namchonuijijon will be there. Though dreadful last time out, he was second in the Ttukseom Cup and must always be considered. Third in that race back in April was Triple Seven and he returns on Sunday also. Winning last time out, he was a close second to Secret Weapon last month. Stepping up to the top level for the first time will be Wangson. Making his first appearance since winning the Sports Chosun in May, the four year old will be a dangerous contender.
A perennial placer of late has been Natural Nine. One of those who may have won a Classic were it not for J.S. Hold in 2007, he’s been involved at the business end of all of his races over the past year. Daehyo ran third to Top Point last monthand while Lucky Seven, Hallyu Star, Seungni Yongsa and Geumbit Gangja may look to be making up the numbers, all are proven winners.
The race, over nine and a half furlongs, is off at 7:35pm on Sunday. Click here to download past performance info (in Korean) and see below for a full list of runenrs, records and riders:
SBS Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1900M – July 19, 2009
1. Lucky Seven (KOR) [Didyme – Agent Flirt (Double Agent)] – (24/5/5/1) – Lee Sang Hyuk
2. Geumbit Gangja (KOR) [Didyme – Fleein Snow (Snow Chief)] – (25/4/7/1) – Ham Wan Sik
3. Daehyo (KOR) [Happy Jazz Band – Jasmine Douglas (Reference Point)] – (24/5/3/7) – Moon Se Young
4. Triple Seven (KOR) [The Groom Is Red – Impudence (Grand Lodge)] – (18/5/3/5) – Choi Beom Hyun
5. Seungni Yongsa (KOR) [Our Poetic Prince – Jane Lauren (Snow Chief)] – (49/5/4/7) – Won Jung Il
6. Baekgwang (KOR) [The Groom Is Red – Grey Crest (Gold Crest)] – (17/9/5/3) – Park Tae Jong
7. Hallyu Star (KOR) [Sharp Appeal – Angel (Land Rush)] – (36/5/6/3) – Choi Won Joon
8. Natural Nine (KOR) [Revere – C. Bop (Aly Dark)] – (21/7/4/4) – Oh Kyoung Hoan
9. Wangson (KOR) [Distilled – Eastern Tide (Far Out East)] – (11/5/3/0) – Kim Young Jin
10. Namchonuijijon (KOR) [Concept Win – Intriga (Lord At Law)] – (22/6/8/3) – Cho Kyoung Ho