The 5th KRA International Jockey Invitational takes place at Seoul Race Park this coming weekend and six overseas jocks will be in town as Korea takes on the Rest Of The World. Ireland’s Pat Shanahan and Australia’s Jim Byrne head up the Rest Of The World team with Park Tae Jong captaining the Koreans.
The Rest Of The World
Jim Byrne (Australia) – Gold Coast based Byrne has been champion jockey at Brisbane four times and is well on his way to 1500 winners.
Richard Fourie (South Africa) – Thought of as one of the most promising young South African jockeys, the 24 year old Fourie last month decided to move from his KwaZulu-Natal base to Singapore where he will join trainer Basil Marcus later this year.
Luis Garcia (USA) – Maryland based and most frequently working the circuit of Laurel, Pimlico, Colonial Downs and Delaware Park, Garcia turned 25 last week and has over 1000 career victories to his name.
Tetsuya Kobayashi (Japan) – The only Japanese rider this year, Kobayashi debuted in 1993 and, while not a prolific winner with the JRA, has secured some prestigious wins throughout his career.
Pat Shanahan (Ireland) – One of Ireland’s most experienced jockeys, Pat Shanahan came to prominence winning the 1984 Irish Oaks on Princess Pati. In 1996 he won the Irish Derby in 1996 on Dermot Weld’s Zagreb. He continues to ride for Weld, guiding Rare ransom to fourth place in this year’s Irish 1000 Guineas.
Gokhan Yildiz (Turkey) – An up and coming riding from Turkey, Yildiz is the youngest member of the ROTW team. In his six year career to date, he has amassed 326 winners.
Korea puts out an experienced team. Although champion jockey Moon Se Young is out for the rest of the season, the home side will still fancy their chances. Last year’s winner Park Tae Jong again captains.
Park Tae Jong – The only person in Korean racing to enjoy name recognition outside the sport, Park has won everything there is to win and has won twice as many races as any other Korean rider in history. Mention horse racing to a Korean and they will tell you two things. First they will tell you gambling is bad. Secondly they will tell you Park Tae Jong always wins.
Bang Choon Sik – Another veteran, Bang rides sparingly these days but in his time has won most of Korea’s biggest races.
Yang Hee Jin – Debuting in 1996, Yang hasn’t quite made it to the top echelon of Korean racing although if he was to go freelance, he may get an opportunity to show what he can do. A safe pair of hands who is held in high regard by punters.
Cho Kyoung Ho – A late starter, not riding in his first race until age 25, Cho Kyoung Ho is currently the man in form. Taking over leadership of the 2009 Championship last weekend, Cho has a remarkable quinella strike rate of 37% this year.
Choi Beom Hyun – Over the past year, Choi has become known as the big race jockey His partnership with Dongbanui Gangja is fast becoming one of the most enduring and successful in Korean racing history.
Ham Wan Sik – Going freelance earlier this year, Ham Wan Sik is recognised as one of Seoul’s most capable riders.
Four races make up the contest, two on Saturday and two on Sunday:
Saturday: Race 8 – Class 3 Foreign bred, 1400M, post time 15:40
Saturday: Race 11 – Class 2 Foreign bred, 1900M Handicap, post time 17:10
Sunday: Race 7 – Class 4 Korean bred, 1400M, post time 15:10
Sunday: Race 9 – Class 3 Korean bred, 1400M Handicap, post time 17:10
Each jockey will have a ride in each race so the mininmum field size for each event will be twelve. Points are awarded in the following manner:
1st: 20, 2nd: 10, 3rd: 6, 4th: 4, 5th: 3, 6th: 2, 7th: 1
The jockey with the most points at the end of the two days will take home a bonus of $20,000, second will secure $10,000 and third will receive $5,000. In addition, each member of the winning team will be awarded a $1,000 bonus.
The rides for each race will be drawn later this week and after the draw, we’ll take a closer look at who’s likely to be leaving Korea a little richer.