Sangseung Ilro, Nice Choice, Bulpae Gisang, Tough Win
It’s set to be a star-studded weekend as some of the peninsula’s hottest properties take to the track at both Seoul and Busan.
Busan and Jeju get things underway on Friday and the Gyeongnam Province track hosts two class 1 contests to finish the day. The first gives the track’s top horses a rare chance to compete for a big prize over just seven furlongs and Sinjin Gangja and Top Grade will be among those looking to claim it. That race is immediately followed by a nine furlong test for overseas bred runners. Crafty Louis tops the weights but faces interesting competition from the likes of lightly raced four-year old Dandi and from the Korean bred Impeccable.
On Saturday the focus moves up to Seoul and Bulpae Gisang, winner of last year’s Busan Metropolitan and second in the Grand Prix, makes his first appearance of 2010. Regular rider Choi Beom Hyun is suspended so Champion jockey Park Tae Jong gets the mount for what should be a straightforward win although Bulpae Gisang will be giving weight to both Angus Empire and Baekjeonmupae, both horses with plenty of wins to their name.
Sunday is set to be a treat at both Seoul and Busan. Down South, last year’s Derby winner Sangseung Ilro faces Pangpang, the filly who beat her in the Oaks, in the feature. Don’t be surprised if neither of them win, however, as also going is Yeongung Manse, winner of the Governer’s Cup in 2009.
Up in the Capital meanwhile, President’s Cup winner Nice Choice makes his début as a four-year old. He should have the beating of a field including Machine Gun and the still slightly unknown quantity of Holy Dreamer. Sunday’s race 9 also sees the seasonal début of the current highest rated three-year old on the peninsula in the shape of Tough Win. The American import in three for three and will attempt two turns for the first time.
Friday January 22
Busan Race Park: 10 races, first post 12:00, last 18:00
Jeju Race Park (Pony Racing): 9 races, first post 13:30, last 17:30
Saturday January 23
Seoul Race Park: 12 races, first post 11:10, last 17:45
Jeju Race Park: 9 races, first post 12:30, last 17:10
Sunday January 24
Seoul Race Park: 11 races, first post 11:10, last 17:45
Busan Race Park: 6 races, first post 12:30, last 16:15