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The annual Korea Cup and Korea Sprint opens Sunday

Posted September. 05, 2019 07:30,   

Updated September. 05, 2019 07:30


The 2019 Keeneland Korea Cup and Korea Sprint,” the only international horse racing event in Korea, will celebrate its fourth year at the Seoul Racecourse on Sunday.

The inaugural Keeneland Korea Cup will be contested over 1,800 meters while its sister Keeneland Korea Sprint over 1,200 meters. The total prize money of 1 billion won will be awarded at Korea Cup and Korea Sprint, whose total prize money was surged from 700 million won. Each winner will win take 570 million won. The Korea Racing Authority (KRA) selects qualified horses for the race through the Selection of Racing Horses for International Events.

Horses representing Korea, the United States, Britain, France, and Hong Kong will compete at the events. Japan, who had won the Korea Cup title for three consecutive years and the Korea Sprint for two straight years, will not be participating this year. Japan had entered several competitive horses since the first year of the race, taking advantage of its geographic proximity to Korea. This year, however, Japan was not invited in light of deteriorating relations with Korea. Against this backdrop, host nation Korea has high chance of its first winning at the race.

The racing competence of the horses can be assumed by their “international ratings,” which is shown from a scale of 0 to 140. The larger the number, the faster the horse is. As of late August, world No. 1 racing horse has an international rating of 127, while the highest rated horse joining the race is Lone Sailor of the U.S. at 112. South Korean-trained Dolkong, with international rating of 108, is also up for the competition. Dolkong won at the Listed Curlin Handicap in Dubai in March, which boosted the world’s highest prize money of 12 million U.S. dollars. “The Korea Cup and the Korea Sprint is now the levels of top international racing events in terms of participating horses and size of prize money, etc. Please continue to root for the Korean team,” said KRA Chairman Kim Nak-sun.

The KRA, which hosted its first international race in 2013, will be broadcasting the race live to 10 countries across the world, including the United States, Britain and Australia.

Seung-Kun Lee why@donga.com