Interaction Cup of 2014 by Kate Hunter

Ohi Racecourse has been leading the NAR’s charge to internationalize Japan’s often overlooked local racing circuit for years. From its sister track relationship with Santa Anita, established in 1995, to the promotion of the Tokyo Daishoten to an internationally accepted group one event. Last year the TCK and the Korean Racing Association(KRA) launched a new bilateral racing challenge to bring together Japanese and Korean racing. The KRA launched the summertime Asia Challenge Cup while Ohi hosted the first Interaction Cup in the autumn.


Last year kicked off the series with the Japanese trained Tosen Archer(JPN) winning the Asia Challenge Cup and the Korean trained Watts Village(USA) winning the Interaction Cup. This year’s Asia Challenge Cup has been promoted to an international invitational event, a first for Korea. Horses from all over Asia are now allowed to run, and Singapore trained El Padrino(NZ) claimed the cup this summer.

去年ソウル競馬場で行われたSBS ESPN杯日韓競走馬交流競走(アジアチャレンジカップの前身となる競走)の優勝馬は日本のトーセンアーチャー号。大井競馬場で行われたインタラクションカップの優勝馬は韓国のワッツヴィレッジ号でした。今年、アジアチャレンジカップはシンガポールの競走馬も出走可能になりました。この競走は韓国初の国際招待レースです。今年はシンガポールのエルパドリーノ号がアジアチャレンジカップに勝利しました。

The other day was the second annual Interaction Cup, complete with a week long Korean food festival and concert by Korean pop idol group, Apeace. Three horses came over from Korea for the race hoping to duplicate last year’s results; Here He Comes(USA), Useung Iyagi(KOR) and Parang Juuibo(USA).


Here He Comes(USA) is a four-year-old gelding by Divine Park(USA). He is trained by An Byung Ki; currently Seoul’s second-leading trainer and owned by Woo Tae Yul. The American bred gelding is coming off a 1200m win in Korea on November 9th. He was ridden by Seoul’s leading jockey Moon Seyoung.


Useung Iyagi(KOR) is a four-year-old filly by Sakura Seeking(USA), who raced in Japan. She is trained by Lee Shin Young, who was Korea’s first female trainer after a ten year career as Korea’s winningest female jockey. This filly likes to set the pace, though she has not seen the winners circle since last summer. She was ridden by Ikuyasu Kurakane, a Japanese jockey from Kochi, who is temporarily riding in Korea and currently the 2nd best jockey there.


Parang Juuibo(USA) is a four-year-old colt by With Distinction(USA). The colt is trained by Kim Sun Guin and owned by Chi Dae Sub.
He too likes to take the lead, though it has been over a year since he has been in the winners circle. Kim Okseong, a veteran jockey in his home country, was in the irons.


The three Korean jockeys got to take a spin on the course before the main event in the Friendly Jockey Cup, the 4th race on the card. The results were promising with two of the Korean based jockeys finishing second and third. Kurakane rode the seventh favorite King Sionainn(JPN) to second. Kim rode the favorite Princess Kana(JPN), setting a fast pace. While the filly rallied after fading a little turning for home, they had to settle for third. Kim said, “No one challenged us for the lead. It wasn’t the position we really wanted, but there wasn’t much of a choice. She ran very well but couldn’t beat the winners.” Moon ran 6th on Cloudy Sunny(JPN). His post race comments shed some light on the differences between racing in Korea versus Japan.
Moon said, “Japanese racing is very tight compared to Korea. After the start, we normally continue to go in a straight line while the Japanese runners all rush to move towards the inside rail.”


Before the main event there was a lovely dinner prepared for the Korean visitors, Japanese connections, and racing authorities. After, Ohi had a special champagne toast to welcome everyone to Japan. The heads of Ohi Racecourse and the Tokyo Owners Association cordially welcomed their guests. The head of the Korean Owners Association, Chi Dae Sub gave a humble and amusing speech to his hosts, hoping for more opportunities to race together in the future. Mr. Chi ended with heartfelt comments in perfect Japanese, “I love Japan, and I love this race.”


The victor in this year’s Interaction Cup was favorite Satono Daytona(USA), a Japanese-trained imported son of Tapit, who took the lead in the stretch and held off late challenger Jo Meteor(JPN). The Korean runners, Here He Comes(USA), Parang Juuibo(USA) and Useung Iyagi(KOR) finished ninth, eleventh, and thirteenth respectively.


Moon Seyoung said, “Here He Comes(USA) broke poorly and made some contact in the race. He went a little wide in the turn for home as well. I would like to come back again with one of Korea’s best horses. I think we could win.”


Kim Okseong said, “Parang Juuibo(USA) is a front runner so when we were slow at the start, he wasn’t able to run the race the way he wanted. By the end, he had nothing left.”


Ikuyasu Kurakane said, “Useung Iyagi(KOR) started well but faded badly in the stretch.”


Ohi Racecourse hopes to continue to expand their international efforts in the future, which include eventually promoting the Interaction Cup to an international invitational event like the Asia Challenge Cup.


Kate Hunter(ケイト ハンター) 略歴
1983年 米国テネシー州生まれ
1997年 競馬に心惹かれる
1998年 日本に興味がわく
2001年 日本語の勉強を開始
2004年 早稲田大学に留学
2006年 米国インディアナ州アーラム大学日本研究学部卒業
2008年 日本の競馬ジャーナリストとなる
2013年 パカパカファーム入社
現在 パカパカファーム コミュニケーション・マネージャー就任