Month: February 2010

New Racecourse Set For Yeongcheon

The Korea Racing Authority (KRA) this week announced that Yeongcheon, North Gyeongsang Province, will be the location of Korea’s fourth racecourse.

A number of regions had bid to host the track which will join Seoul and Busan in hosting thoroughbred racing (with Jeju remaining the sole host of Pony racing) but Yeongcheon got the Authority’s nod. In addition to the racecourse, Yeongcheon will also play host to a training centre and “leisure town”.

The site that will be a racecourse by 2014

Yeongcheon is a small city with a population of just over 100,000. It is approximately 350 kilometres south-east of Seoul but only 80 from Busan and is on the the main “Gyeongbu” Expressway that links the peninsula’s two main cities.

With the gambling regulator, the National Gaming Control Commission, shutting down internet and telephone betting last year and also decreeing that a minimimum of 50% of all betting handle must be taken on-track threatening the off-track betting plazas, a new racecourse has become imperative for the KRA. Nevertheless, eyebrows will be raised at the decision to locate the new site in such a rural area with no obvious supply of punters nearby.

Construction at the new site will begin almost immediately with the first races expected to be run in 2014.

Yeongcheon is quick to incorporate racing into its official homepage

Yeongcheon City English Homepage

Chulgigi has a full account (in Korean) as well as video of the award ceremony


Baekgwang Too Late

Grey Goes Down to Triple Seven / No Success for Jumong

Baekgwang just gave himself too much to do in the big race at Seoul Race Park this afternoon. The popular grey slumped to defeat at the hands of Triple Seven after running into too much traffic as he tried to launch his usual home straight charge.

Baekgwang would leave his run too late

Sent off long odds-on favourite, Baekgwang dawdled as usual through the early stages as the field allowed outsider Rich Family to open up a ten length lead on them in the back straight. As they bunched together turning for home, Park Tae Jong on Baekgwang found himself having to go around too many horses before being able to sprint for home.

In the meantime Choi Beom Hyun on Triple Seven, who was given a clear run, hit the front and was able to open up a big lead. Once Baekgwang finally got running there was just a furlong to go and he still had seven horses in front of him. He got to all but one; Triple Seven holding on for the win by a length.

His fast-finishing style is part or what makes Baekgwang so popular (that and being a grey) but today it was his downfall. Nevertheless every race he runs in is guaranteed to be exciting.

Another horse running into traffic problems was US import Jumong [Johar – Foreign Aid (Danzig)]. The three-year old half-brother to Subsidy and Soseono was going for his third straight win in the class 2 race 9 but had trouble getting past the tiring front-runner Photo Map. By the time he did, he had a race well and truly on his hands and it was six-year old Key To Success who held off the young pretender to take victory.

Key To Sucess edges out Jumong - Gyongmaman makes no apology for the shaky trigger finger - he was on it at 20/1

One of very few British bred horses racing in Korea, Key To Success [Mujahid – Shining Cloud (Indian Ridge)] was recording just his second win from thirty-five starts. He’s come close plenty of times though with eleven other placed finishes to his name. Meanwhile, with better luck, Jumong – sent off at 5/1 on today – will surely be back in the winner’s enclosure soon.

Tomorrow there’s action at both Seoul and Busan. Seoul has eleven races between 11:20 and 18:00, while Busan has six events from 12:40 to 16:30.


Weekend Preview

Baekgwang is the feature attraction of another big weekend of racing on the peninsula. The former Horse of the Year goes in Saturday’s feature at Seoul Race Park where he’ll face stiff competition from the likes of Secret Weapon and Triple Seven and Lucky Mountain.

Also in action over the weekend will be the fast improving US import Jumong, while Seoul Teukgeup, Yodongseong and Galsaem go in Sunday’s feature.

Down at Busan, Namdo Jeap heads up Friday’s card, giving at least five kilos to field of thirteen.

Friday February 5

Busan Race Park: 10 races, first post 12:00, last 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races, first post 13:30, last 17:30

Saturday February 6

Seoul Race Park: 12 races, first post 11:20, last 17:40
Jeju Race Park: 9 races, first post 12:10, last 17:10

Sunday February 7

Seoul Race Park: 11 races, first post 11:20, last 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races, first post 12:40, last 16:30