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Miller opens stable doors in South Korea

Trainer David Miller, second from left, with race officials and guests at a Busan race meeting in South Korea this month.

Trainer David Miller, second from left, with race officials and guests at a Busan race meeting in South Korea this month.
Kiwi horseman David Miller is open for business in South Korea.

"I'm the first New Zealander to train here," he said. "I've started to get horses into the stable now and I've got 24 boxes and it won't be hard to fill them.

"The hardest part is getting the quality, there's no problem with quantity.

"They aren't a bad block of stables and they are on the track with swimming pools and walkers as well."

Miller is based at the Busan racecourse, which opened in 2005, with meetings every Friday and Sunday.

"It's the strongest racing here even though Seoul is the capital," he said. "All the big races are won by horses from Busan.

"It's a sand track and I've never seen anything as good as their business model."

Miller can speak from experience as he has seen his share of racing.

"When I was a jumps jockey in New Zealand I used to ride in the winter and travel in the summer," he said. "This is the eleventh country I've worked in."

Miller, who came from a training stint in Malaysia, said there was a hefty start-up cost involved in South Korea.

"I had to put down nearly $US90,000 to open a company, but if things go well I should be making good money," he said.

"If a horse can run between first and eighth it pays the training fees for a month.

"A class one race can be worth $US100,000 and class five and six races can go up to $US50,000. The trainer gets seven percent, the jockey six and 10 percent goes to the staff.

"You have to have four Korean-bred horses before you can buy a foreign horses at the sales.

"I've got six two-year-olds and three three-year-olds coming to the stable that are untried and of the others I should have my first starter within a month."

Miller said South Korea was likely to be his last overseas venture - "I've still got roots in New Zealand and property there." – NZ Racing Desk.