Japan: Ban’ei racing on Hokkaido Staged only at the suburban racetrack of Obihiro on ‘horse island’ Hokkaido, ban’ei (‘pull play’) involves sturdy draught horses twice the weight of thoroughbreds pulling heavy iron sleds along a straight 200-metre sand track featuring a pair of inclines. You can bet on it, there’s a starting gate and ‘jockeys’ wear conventional silks.