This coming Sunday at Seoul Race Park, Baekgwang will seek to complete what was thought to be an impossible comeback when he lines up alongside the track’s top Korean bred horses in the President’s Cup. During his career, the six-year-old has spent a total of two years on the sidelines. He finally returned to the winner’s circle last month in his third race since returning from successful stem-cell treatment.
Now he will take on a strong field including three-year olds Nice Choice and Khanui Jeguk as well as old foe Baengnokjeong. Natural Nine, Triple Seven, Mighty Runner and Wontagui Gisa are also among the proven winners that will contest the Group 1 race over 2000 metres.
A week later another long overdue return will take place. And this time it’s Baekgwang’s little sister Baekpa, back in town following her summer in the United States, who heads the line-up in the Nonghyup Bank Cup. Korean racing fans were pained to see Baekpa in the US, running her heart out but being left behind by fields that could hardly be considered world-beating. How she recovers from that ordeal will become clear on Sunday 22 as she makes her first start back on Korean sand.
Currently thirteen other fillies and mares are entered for the Nonghyup race. An in-form Baekpa should have the beating of them all with the one interesting contender being the three-year old Love Cat.
Is she the same horse she was when she left? Can her brother beat the three-year olds a week earlier? Either way, racing fans here are just delighted to see the grey siblings back home racing where they belong.
Here’s Baekgwang in pre-injury days in 2007:
And Baekpa taking the Korean Oaks in the same year: