Dong-a Ilbo / GC Trophy / MJC / KRA Jeju Cup
Sunday sees four big races split between Seoul, Busan and Jeju. It promises to be one of the most interesting days of the year:
Dong-a Ilbo Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1400M – 17:00
It’s the 13th running of the Dong-a Ilbo and it is, for the second time, restricted to class 2 fillies and mares. Previous winners – when it was open to all – have included Baekgwang in 2006 and Hongji in 2007.
A full field of fourteen will gather this time and they are a mixture of up and comers and those who haven’t quite made the breakthrough to the top level of Korean racing.
It’s an open looking race. Ganghan Speed and Dangdae Teukgeup should be in the mix at the end as shoud Feel It Now and Grandzif. Hwaryeohanbisang is also an interesting prospect. Never tried at this level, the three year old has won four of her six starts.
Gold Circle Trophy – Busan Race Park – 1400M – 15:35
South Africa’s Gold Circle Organization runs racecourses and betting in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. Over the past few years it has built links with the KRA which have seen three Korean apprentice jockeys going to South Africa for training and a Riding Instructor come to Korea. Earlier this year the KRA sponsored the KRA Guineas at Greyville Racetrack.
The first GC Trophy is open to class 2 horses and has attracted a field of eight including two of Busan’s most highly rated three year olds. KO Punch arrived on the scene too late for the classics while Top Grade is a gelding so was ineligible. Both have impressive records with KO Punch four for five and Top Grade four for six. Molto Presto, another three year old in a winning habit lately, can’t be discounted, nor can lightly raced four year old Namdo Myeongjang.
Macau Jockey Club Special – Busan Race Park – 1400M – 16:30
The second MJC brings together fourteen of Busan’s up and coming imports. Unlike the day’s other two big races, this one should have a clear favourite in Sweet Summertime. The Soto filly has three wins from her six starts and has beaten better than she will face in this.
That’s not to say she’ll have it easy. Essence Of Dubai colt Haegeoreum is capable of springing a surprise as are Jungwon Jepae and Double The Gold. Nevertheless, as so often this year, the most likely results is a filly beating her male counterparts.
KRA Jeju Cup – Jeju Race Park – 1700M – 15:50
This site doesn’t cover Jeju very often, however, the Jeju Ponies have one of their biggest races of the year in the shape of the KRA Jeju Cup. Minsokchum is top weight but faces a host of regular winners at the track in the shadow of Mt. Halla.
Racing is underway at Seoul at 11:20 (11 races) , Jeju at 12:10 (9 races) and Busan at 12:40 (6 races). With temperatures likely to be in the mid twenties (celsius) and a light breeze taking the edge off the sun, there really is going to be no better place to be on the peninsula – or on Jeju Island – on Sunday, than one of the racecourses. Come Racing!