Korea preview: Willie Mullins lured by Far Eastern challenge for Riven Light

Fri 7 Sep 2018

Riven Light bids to get a large slice of the enormous prize-money on offer when he goes for the 3rd Keeneland Korea Cup at Seoul on Sunday.

With £395,000 for the winner and cash all the way down to eighth place, connections of the Rich Ricci-owned six-year-old are understandably keen to give the nine-furlong contest a go.

The Willie Mullins-trained gelding is a relatively fresh horse and is no stranger to globe-trotting.

After winning at Listowel 12 months ago, Riven Light went to Australia where he was not disgraced in the Group One Ladbrokes Stakes, where he picked up a serious leg injury.

He only returned to action at the Galway Festival, where he won the Colm Quinn BMW Mile Premier Handicap for the second year running.

Mullins’ son and assistant, Patrick, reports Riven Light to be all set for the challenge.

“He travelled over well. David Casey has gone over to supervise while he’s there and my father headed over on Thursday to be there for the race,” he said.

“It’s a shot in the dark and an interesting experiment.

“The prize-money is fabulous. He won’t get the chance to run for that kind of money anywhere else.

“The quarantine rules for Korea allow him to come back quite quickly as well. It’s relatively easier to get in and out compared to Australia. That was another favourable aspect to it. He’ll be coming home afterwards.”

There is a second raider from this part of the world in Forest Ranger, who has found life difficult after making a good start to the season.

His trainer Richard Fahey believes he has “nothing to lose” taking him to Asia.

Winner of Group races at Newmarket and Chester in the spring, the four-year-old failed to make an impact in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown and found the extended mile and a quarter too far when fifth to Thundering Blue in the Sky Bet York Stakes.

“He’s travelled there. It’s not easy finding easy options for him,” said North Yorkshire-based Fahey.

“I’m not saying this is an easy option for him but, taking the travelling away, it’s probably the easiest race I could find.

“We’ve nothing to lose and we’re not missing anything by going over there.”

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