New Year’s Stakes

New Year Begins With Impetus

It’s got one of the most cumbersome names in the calendar but the New Year’s Commemorative Race lived up to its reputation of being a tough punting prospect as 9/1 shot Impetus landed 2014’s first big prize at Seoul Race Park.

Impetus and Park Tae Jong return to scale after winning the New Year's Commemorative race

Impetus and Park Tae Jong return to scale after winning the New Year’s Commemorative race

Now 4-years-old, Impetus (Exploit) came in to the race having won 4 of his previous 13 starts and was 6th most favoured by punters.

Under jockey Park Tae Jong he hit the front coming off the final turn and fought off the determined challenge of favourite Bulkkot Daewang, who finished quickly on the rail, by a neck.

In other news on what was a long 14-race opening day in the Korean capital, we saw our first dead-heat of the year as the judges failed to separate Space Gun and Speed King at the end of race 10.

One race earlier, we also unfortunately saw the first heavy fall of the year as jockey Ahn Hyo Ri was unseated from her mount on the final turn. Ahn required hospital treatment but horse was unhurt and continued without his rider.

New Year Commemorative Race – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – January 4, 2014

1. Impetus (KOR) [Exploit – Miss Stravinsky (Stravinsky)] – Park Tae Jong
2. Bullkot Daewang (KOR) [Pico Central – Hwaju (Joindre)] – Cho Kyoung Ho
3. Daejangjeong (KOR) [Menifee – Ledge (Kris S.)] – Lee Sang Hyeok
Distances: Neck/2.5 lengths – 14 ran

Sunday January 5
Seoul Race Park: 10 races from 11:00 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:50 to 17:30

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Weekend Preview: 2014 Opening Days at Seoul & Busan

The 2014 racing season gets underway in Korea this weekend, headlined as always by the New Year’s Commemorative Race at Seoul.

The punter can get back down to business this weekend at Seoul and Busan

The punter can get back down to business this weekend at Seoul and Busan

That race is the feature of a lengthy 14-race card at Seoul on Saturday while Sunday sees three class 1 races on the peninsula; two at Seoul and one at Busan.

The New Year race, sponsored as usual by Herald Media, brings together a group of horses who didn’t quite make the class 1 breakthrough last year and gives them an early chance to do so this time around.

It’s notoriously difficult to punt on but Blue Camp, Geumbit Mannam and Last Mudae come into the race with the best recent form while Like The Sun and Bulkkot Daewang are proven winners over the distance.

The pony racing on Jeju Island takes a weekend off after running right through the holiday period. Here’s what’s happening where and when:

Friday January 3
Busan Race Park: 12 races from 12:00 to 18:00

Saturday January 4
Seoul Race Park: 14 races from 11:00 to 18:00

Sunday January 5
Seoul Race Park: 10 races from 11:00 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:50 to 17:30

2014 is the Year of the Horse. Come Racing!