So many things that could have been done with a blank weekend – it seems last year I had a great time. This year it just rained. And rained and rained. Anyway, after its very short summer vacation, racing returns to the peninsula this weekend with a busy three days of action.
Hopes were high that the great grey Baekgwang (The Groom Is Red), Minister’s Cup winner in 2006 and at eight years old one of Korea’s most popular horses, would make his return after nearly a year and a half out with injury. He was entered for Saturday’s feature race at Seoul but hasn’t made the final declarations.
Baekgwang misses what is the only class 1 event of the weekend and it is real stick-a-pin-in-it stuff as any one of a number could take it with Real Victor, Taewangseong, Hwangnyongsaji and Khanui Jeguk being the best known names in the field.
Busan’s main events are on Sunday with co-feature races. 2010 Korean Derby winner Cheonnyeon Daero (Creek Cat) takes on foriegn-bred opposition in the first of them while in the second, another four-year old Trade Mark (War Zone) is looking to make a quick double success after winning a similar race two weeks ago. His jockey that day was Toshio Uchida but Mr Pink will have to sit things out this time, having earned himself a two-day ban.
While things seem set fair for Friday at Busan and Jeju, the rain is expected to return by Saturday. Here’s what’s happening when and where:
Friday August 5
Busan Race Park: 10 races from 15:00 to 21:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 16:30 to 21:00
Saturday August 6
Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 14:20 to 20:50
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 16:20 to 21:10
Sunday August 7
Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 14:20 to 21:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 16:30 to 20:30