There is a big change coming in Korean racing as the maximum number of horses that can take part in a race is set to rise to 16.
For many years, no more than 14 runners could start in any one race, however, from 2013, that number has risen to 16 for Stakes races with the intention that from 2014, the new higher limit will apply in all races.
The Korea Racing Authority (KRA) has already introduced new betting slips in order to cope with the change and it is possible that next Sunday’s Ttukseom Cup at Seoul Race Park, the first leg of the “Queens’ Tour” series of races that will decide the Champion filly or mare of the year, will be the first opportunity for punters to see the new system in action.
There are still 18 entrants left in the Ttukseom Cup and while in previous years, this would need to be whittled down to 14, this time only 2 will be forced to miss out.
Field sizes in Korea are generally quite healthy. No race can have fewer than seven declared starters and the mean average number of runners is 11. It is very rare for Stakes races to have fewer than 10. The Authority hopes that the increase will result in more attractive pari-mutuel odds for punters as well as more opportunities for owners to enter Stakes events.