Day: May 5, 2011

Weekend Preview

Jumong vs Bally Brae Part 3, Larrycat, Mister Park

Back when he had a full head of hair and only one stomach and chin, a pre-teen Gyongmaman used to complain to his parents that while there was a Mother’s Day and a Father’s Day, there was no “Children’s Day.” Invariably the response came back that “Every day is Children’s Day”.

It was Childrens' Day in Korea today. This chap will no doubt have stayed home to study the weekend's form

Well here in Korea today actually was “Children’s Day” and it meant a public holiday. Seoul Race Park’s infield was open and hosting the usual brand of Korean family oriented daftness that these occasions call for. No racing though. That begins on the peninsula tomorrow.

While in the US it is Derby weekend, here in Korea, we’re still a week away from the big one. However, while it might be expected to be a low-key weekend of racing, it’s anything but. We have an absolute belter of a main event at Seoul Race Park this Saturday while the “best horse in Korea” runs at Busan on Sunday.

Four weeks ago, Jumong (Johar) levelled things up with his older brother Subsidy’s great rival Bally Brae (Yarrow Brae) after the older horse had beaten him earlier this year. At the time we said a decider was necessary, and that is what we’re going to get in the nine furlong feature race. However, there’s a problem for the two of them and his name is Larrycat (Fantasticat). Second in the Grand Prix Stakes last year, the four-year old will be carrying top weight in the handicap but on his day, could have the beating of both.

Mister Park

Speaking of the Grand Prix, the current champion and de-facto holder of the title of best horse in Korea, Mister Park (Ecton Park) makes his third appearance of 2011 in the feature race at his home track of Busan on Sunday. And for the first time, except of course for the Grand Prix, he’ll take his chance against exclusively imported horses. While in theory it’s a tougher challenge, it also means he’ll have to carry less weight (although this race is actually an allowance or conditions race, rather than a handicap).

Mister Park will be looking for hs fourteenth straight victory and jockey Lee Dae Yeon, who surprisingly gets the ride, has the biggest opportunity of his career when the race comes under orders at 17:00 on Sunday.

There’s also big action for the ponies at Jeju in the shape of the “Seongsan Ilchul” or “Sunrise Stakes” on the Island on Saturday.

Here’s what’s happening when and where around the peninsula this weekend:

Friday May 6

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

Saturday May 7

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:10 to 17:30
Jeju Race Park: 10 races from 12:30 to 17:30

Sunday May 8

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:10 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:30 to 17:00