After last week’s break for the Korean Thanksgiving Weekend, racing returns to the peninsula on Friday as a busy three days get underway.
It’s always interesting to see how things are after a blank weekend – especially after Thanksgiving, or “Chuseok” as it is called in Korean. More so than Christmas here, it is the time of year when there is a tendency to over-indulge in both food, drink and carousing.
There may still be some heads when they reconvene at Busan tomorrow. Gyongmaman of course is always sure to steer clear of wine, woman and song and has spent the intervening time carefully studying form. Even so, he’s still got a clue who’s going to win the Ilgan Sports Stakes on Sunday.
The Ilgan Sports is the highlight of the weekend and brings together a full field of fourteen runners over the Derby distance of 1800 metres. There’s a mixture of three-year olds who remain on the Classic trail, such as Geuma Champ, Magnifique and Beongaegangho. They’re joined by ones from last year such as Super Rich and Full Step in what makes for a cracking contest.
There’s plenty else going on too with big handicaps – a sprint on Saturday and a long distance test on Sunday – on both days at Seoul, while Busan also hosts competitive cards on Friday and Sunday. Australian jockey Nathan Stanley will get to put his 100% win record on the line at Busan with five rides across the weekend.
Here’s what’s happening when and where:
Friday September 16
Busan Race Park: 10 races from 12:00 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 13:30 to 17:30
Saturday September 17
Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 11:10 to 17:30
Jeju Race Park: 10 races from 12:30 to 17:30
Sunday September 18
Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:10 to 18:05
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:30 to 17:05