Japanese to race in Korea in September with Koreans heading to Japan in November
The Korea Racing Authority (KRA) has announced plans to host its first “international race” by inviting three Japanese-trained horses to Korea to compete for a 250 Million won prize on September 1st. Subsequently, three Korean horses will be selected to race in Japan in November.
The KRA will be picking up the costs of all those involved and plans to promote the race in the same way an international football match would be. At the same time, the Authority also announced plans to hold a truly international race in 2014 with horses trained in the USA, Australia, Hong Kong, Macau and Malaysia expected to be invited.
It’s not the first time the racing authorities here have planned to hold an international event. Such a race was planned to be the culmination of a “five-year plan for intenationalization” drawn up in the early 2000s and a similar race is pencilled in to mark the opening of the now delayed new racecourse at Yeongcheon.
While the International Jockey Challenge, which was also part of that original plan, is now an established feature of the calendar and Korean-bred horse Feel So Good – likely to be one of the Korea horses selected for the event – ran and won in the US last year, progress on hosting foreign horses in Korea has until now, been slow.
The KRA already operates exchange races with a number of its counterparts around the world (the great Irish horse Sea The Stars broke his maiden in August 2008 in a race sponsored by the KRA at Leopardstown), including the JRA and some of these have seen jockeys from the partner organisations visiting. Busan Racecourse also has a partnership with Kokura Racecourse in Japan. However, none of these arrangements have involved horses travelling to compete.
(ht- Flame Racing)