Day: January 27, 2011

Weekend Preview: They’re Back

It’s Tough Win vs Dongbanui Gangja at Seoul while Minister’s and President’s Cup winner Dangdae Bulpae goes at Busan on what is set to be another action packed weekend of racing in Korea.

The Boys Are Back in Town: (clockwise) Dongbanui Gangja, Tough Win, Dangdae Bulpae

It’s true that 2010’s much hyped battles between double Grand Prix winner Dongbanui Gangja and young upstart Tough Win fell a little flat. Dongbanui Gangja had always been difficult to control, but in the Busan Metropolitan he ran so wide on the final turn that he was able to play no part in the finish as Tough Win triumphed. Next was the KRA Cup Classic when, while Dongbanui Gangja kept straight Tough Win soundly beat him. Finally in the Grand Prix, the unbeaten but unheralded Mister Park came up from Busan and in the season’s longest race, handed them both a thorough drubbing.

Tough Win didn’t manage to say the distance that day, but he’s back down to ten furlongs on Sunday as he meets Dongbanui Gangja again. With a two kilo weight advantage, he’ll be strong favourite to get back to winning ways.

Saturday sees a thirteen race card at Seoul with last week’s snowed off Sunday feature being re-arranged. Good Day, Cheonun, Triple Seven and Blue Pin all survive from the original line-up. In what’s now a co-feature event, Lucky Mountain and last year’s champion filly or mare Love Cat are among a full field of fourteen contesting a class 1 handicap over nine and a half furlongs.

Down at Busan, one of the peninsula’s top horses returns to action. Dangdae Bulpae also failed to stay the distance in the Grand Prix last year but did land the President’s Cup, Korea’s richest race. On Friday, he runs at his home track of Busan for the first time since last September as he takes on another full field in the feature race. He’s a class apart from any of his rivals, but will have to carry eight kilos more than any of them . Only the weight can beat him.

Also down in South Gyeongsang Province on Friday, we’ll be looking out to see how Lion Santa (Lion Heart) fares in his first outing at class 2. The three-year old was one of last year’s hottest imports and has won all of his four races to date.

With no racing next weekend because of the Lunar New Year holiday, so despite the fact it’s going to be several degrees below zero yet again….Come Racing! Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday January 28

Busan Race Park: 10 races from 12:00 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 13:30 to 17:30

Saturday January 29

Seoul Race Park: 13 races from 11:20 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:10 to 17:10

Sunday January 30

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:20 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:40 to 16:30

Last week's snow means Seoul has a double feature this Saturday. It's going to be very cold, but we should escape any more blizzards