Much as I don’t like doing “Round-Ups” I’ve been busy lately and am a long way behind. I also don’t like writing in the first-person on this blog so without further waffle, here are some things that have been happening:
Anyone who has visited Korean race courses over the past couple of months will have noticed that the KRA has been making subtle hints that we may wish to call the organisation “Let’s Run” from now on. Quite why is anybody’s guess but the rebranding is now almost complete and the pliant local Racing media are dutifully referring to the Racetracks as “Let’s Run Park”. Like it or not – and anything that removes the words “Racing” and “Racecourse” is questionable – it’s here to stay.
On to gambling matters and Busan Racecourse – sorry, “Let’s Run Park Busan” – is taking the first tentative steps towards “exotic” betting as it introduces a “Daily Double” from June 27. In Korea, laws literally need to be changed before any new bet type can be introduced so it isn’t going to be operated through a pool but instead through a lottery. Punters will have to choose the winners of the last two races on the card on each Friday. If they get them correct, they win access to a draw to win a guaranteed KW 10 Million.
Recently, punters have been leaving the Busan track early on a Friday (due to its dreadful location half in Gimhae and half in Busan and connected to Busan City by only one bridge next to which an awful lot of construction is going on right now) and handle is down on the last two races. Seoul, despite having no transportation issues, is likely to follow suit with this kind of activity soon and with any luck, it could be the first step towards getting regular multiple race betting.
Also in gambling news, things are getting easier for English-speaking punters here as the KRA is making full and comprehensive past performance information for all meetings at Seoul available for free download from its website. The move is designed to coincide with the start of regular simulcast broadcasting which starts next week.
Finally, the story of the Korea Racing Authority doing right by a track rider taken seriously ill at Busan in April has made the American Bloodhorse magazine. Khayalethu Jeyu, one of 11 South African work riders at the southern track, was rushed to hospital by KRA ambulance after experiencing severe headaches while riding work.
Upon hearing of the discovery of several imminently life-threatening tumors, the KRA stepped in and paid for his treatment. Read the full story here.