Day: September 12, 2013

Weekend Preview: Ilgan Sports Cup

The summer weekend evenings of decadence and debauchery are over as racing returns to its normal morning start times this weekend.

Munhwa Ilbo Cup winner Gwanggyo Bisang heads the Ilgan Sports field

Munhwa Ilbo Cup winner Gwanggyo Bisang heads the Ilgan Sports field

And sore heads will find plenty to lighten their wallets over in competitive cards at both Seoul and Busan, with the highlight being Seoul’s Ilgan Sports Cup on Sunday afternoon.

Gwanggyo Bisang (Menifee) has won 6 of his 7 starts to date, including the Munhwa Ilbo Cup last time out, and despite not having run since that Stakes victory back in July, is set to be favourite for the 1800 metre race, which has attracted a field of 13.

The injury-blighted K-Tap (Menifee), who was Seoul’s champion juvenile last year and was 2nd to Gwanggyo Bisang in that Munhwa Ilbo also goes, as do fellow 3-year-olds Blue Camp (Forest Camp) and Like The Sun (Forest Camp). Among the older horses they will face are Sand Jjang (Forest Camp) and Viva Cat (Creek Cat), both proven winners at this level.

Also at Seoul on Sunday, highly rated 2-year-old Canadian import Persia Wangja (Ghostzapper) seeks to get back to winning ways after being narrowly defeated by phenom Fly Top Queen last time out.

Dal Shabet will be performing at Seoul Race Park on Sunday afternoon

Dal Shabet will be performing at Seoul Race Park on Sunday afternoon

At Busan, the feature race on Sunday in which Peter Wolsley, fresh from saddling his 200th Korean winner last weekend, sends out stable star Cheongchun Bulpae (Milwaukee Brew).

Also at Busan, as reported here, a statue to the late Mister Park will be unveiled on Sunday. On a lighter note at Seoul, top K-Pop group “Dal Shabet” will be performing.

Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday September 13

Busan Race Park: 11 races from 11:50 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 13:10 to 17:40

Saturday September 14

Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 11:00 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:20 to 17:15

Sunday September 15

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 18:00 including the Ilgan Sports Cup at 16:35
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:50 to 17:05

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Mister Park Statue Set For Busan Unveiling

A statue honouring the late Mister Park will be officially unveiled during racing at Busan Race Park this coming Sunday.

The Mister Park statue will have its official unveiling this weekend

The Mister Park statue will have its official unveiling this weekend

Mister Park (Ecton Park) won the Grand Prix Stakes in 2010 and broke the Korean record for most consecutive victories before suffering a fatal injury in a race at Busan on June 23, 2012.

Mister Park with trainer Kim Young Kwan, jockey Yoo Hyun Myung and owner Kwak Jong Soo after winning the 2010 Grand Prix

Mister Park with trainer Kim Young Kwan, jockey Yoo Hyun Myung and owner Kwak Jong Soo after winning the 2010 Grand Prix

The life-size statue took five months to complete and Mister Park’s owner Kwak Jong Soo will attend to officially dedicate it to his horse. A special booklet “I’m Mister Park” has also been produced for the occasion.

Mister Park's final resting place in Busan

Mister Park’s final resting place in Busan

Mister Park, who was 5-years-old when he passed away, ran 22 times, winning on 19 occasions. He was Korean Horse of the Year in 2011. Read more about him here.