Seoul To Debut Mile Races Sunday

History of a kind will be made at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday when racing over the distance of a mile returns to the capital for the first time in more than thirty years.

While Busan Racecourse, which was opened in 2005, is home to the KRA Cup Mile, the opening leg of the Triple Crown, until now, the configuration of Seoul Racecourse hasn't allowed for races over the Guineas distance of 1 m. Not since the old Ttukseom Racecourse closed in 1989 – and even there the "mile" races were in fact 1 m – has the distance been available in the city.

That's all changed with the construction of a dedicated starting chute between the first and second corners which allows for a run-up of just over 0, and the first pair of races using the new distance will be run on Sunday afternoon.

Both races are class 2 handicaps, and both have eight runners making for a gentle introduction. The first is race 7 where Cheungdam Genie, a winner of three from six so far, looks set to be favourite.

The Haynesfield gelding comes in off back to back victories over 7 f and 6 f and could prove hard to beat. Cheungdam Genie will though have competition from proven competitors including Heungbok Dream and Jjang Kong.

One race later the second set of eight will go to post with Dark Player the one to beat. He's a front-runner and all eyes will be on how the horses and jockeys approach what will be the shortest lead-in from start to corner in Korean racing.

In other Sunday races at Seoul, Morfhis and Gangtoma face off in the class 1 race 11 with the latter looking to overturn the form from the last time they met. The most intriguing race of the day though is the most valuable juvenile race of the season so far as race 9 sees nine two-year-olds face off with a prize fund of 150 Million Won up for grabs.

They include Roller Blade, an impressive winner of two from two so far as well as Choegang Team, who dominated at five furlongs on debut last month.

There is also a Sunday card at Busan and a similarly valuable juvenile race. Hansen colt Top Day, the second foal out of 2013 Korean Derby winner Speedy First and with two wins from two starts, is set to be favourite for that.

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