Yes Korea is racing again in a the return attempt to full programming, but can champion stayer Cheongdam Dokki be looking at Horse of The Year honours in a COVID-style season.
In twice defeating Tiz Plan and Shamrocker in the Herald Business Cup of 2000m in June and later the YTN Cup also 2000m, Cheongdam Dokki met defeat in the Busan Mayor’s Cup of 1800m.
In being denied his second Busan Mayor’s Cup and second unsuccessful Korean Stayer’s Series clean sweep, it was Tiz Plan who defeated Cheongdam Dokki, with Shamrocker again in third.
What now for Cheongdam Dokki in targeting national honours having recently won over 1800m in Seoul. Will he again meet his Korea Cup victor Moonhak Chief, who he ran third to in February.
With racing being open to a 30% public attendance, and 20% at Off Track Betting Centres, will the issue of on-line betting be further address with the rise of illegal gambling.
Korean law makers have become increasingly concerned that the illegal gambling market, not just horse racing, is estimated at US$70 Billion, and is expected to grow significantly during 2020.
In now being four times the combined turnover of all legal forms of gambling within Korea, there are growing calls for the legislation of on-line wagering to protect the racing industry.
‘As domestic horse racing has stopped, legal players are flowing into the illegal horse racing market,’ was a quote from Chung Woon-Chun, the former Agriculture Minister.
‘A legal and institutional arrangement must be urgently prepared to create a healthy horse racing industry and protect legal horse racing customers.’
‘With no on-line betting available to Korean punters, many have turned to illegal markets with illicit operators offering betting on overseas horse racing as well as casino games.’
Chung Woon-Chun further stated ‘from February 23, when racing was suspended 3,176 illegal sites were blocked or shut down, an increase of 325 on the same period last year.’
Earlier, the Racing Industry Emergency Countermeasure Committee submitted a petition to the Korean National Assembly, urging immediate attention by politicians.
‘Most of the breeding and racing industry is in a state of unprecedented depression with their right to a livelihood seriously threatened by bankruptcy or unemployment.’
‘Due to the suspension of racing, we urge you to enact the law as soon as possible so the foundations of our industry will not collapse.’
‘Korea is an international outlier in online wagering, with more than 100 countries world-wide operating a contactless betting system in some form or other.’
‘United States, Japan, Australia and the United Kingdom have so far prevented the collapse of their racing industries through the sale of online betting tickets.’
Korean horse racing in Korea had undergone rapid development over the past decade, being “PART II” under the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities system.
As well as hosting the Korea Cup and Korea Sprint international races, Korean racing is now broadcast live across North America, Europe, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand where legal online betting is conducted on Korean racing.