When it was revealed that this year’s Seoul Owners’ Cup race was to be fillies only, Korean racing fans let out a collective groan of disappointment. Not that they have anything against fillies mind, but that in recent years the race had been a summer showdown of the best horses the track has to offer. That this year’s Busan Mayor’s Cup would be opened up to horses from Seoul looked scant consolation.
For this year, there is one contest that everyone is waiting for. Double Grand Prix winner Dongbanui Gangja is facing perhaps the biggest test of his hegemony to date from the unbeaten three-year old Tough Win. That one of them would ship to Busan to hoover up a prize as large as the Mayor’s Cup was always likely – that both of them would go was thought too much to hope for.
Nevertheless, both Dongbanui Gangja and Tough Win look set to hold their first duel at the Southern track on Sunday July 18th. As the younger of the two, Tough Win will have three kilo weight advantage over the reigning Horse of the Year and every gram of that could come into play over Busan’s punishing two and a half furlong home straight.
While the attention will be on the two stars from Seoul, there’s set to be plenty of local interest too. Crafty Louis is entered as are the Korean bred pair of Yeonseung Daero and Yeongung Manse – the latter having a history of upsetting what had previously been billed a “match-race”.
Seventeen horses remain in at this stage. At least three of those be cut before final declarations. Punters will have their fingers crossed that the two big stars make it.
* Today at Seoul, Janggun Bada was a shock 50/1 winner of the feature race. See full results at our newly revamped results page! Here’s what’s happening on Sunday:
Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:20 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:40 to 16:30