On Sunday at Shatin, we see Felix Coetzee who has just signed to ride in Singapore on a six-month contract, back in Hong Kong for the day and also see Jeff “Steptoe” Lloyd ride here for the last time before heading off to do battle in Queensland against the likes of “Monkey” Munce, Grant “The Cookie Monster” Cooksley and Timothy Bell. I don’t know what’s happened to Larry Cassidy, but all he’s doing is shooting blacks over there. No matter what many say about how “The Monkey Man” is “The King Of Queensland Racing”- a very tiny one- I am betting that old “Steptoe” will teach those darn kids a thing or two although “The Cookie Monster” must be, at least, 120 years old by now.
As for Felix Coetzee, at 51, the man is timeless and ageless and one can never ever leave him outta calculations. He rides Glorious Day for John Size while Douglas Whites jumps ship- and horse- and gets onboard Ambitious Dragon. One can only assume this is part of “obligations” but after its very “flat” run in Dubai, I am really unsure if the horse is back to normal. Are any of us TRULY normal? Anyway, I’ll be taking Glorious Day over Ambitious Dragon, but very much doubt either can beat Cityscape which demolished its rivals, some of which are racing against him on Sunday. Cityscape will whip their arses with jockey James Doyle even raise a sweat.
Felix “The Cat” also takes over on John Size’s enigmatic O’Halo while The Durban Turban again jumps off the John Size ship and jumps aboard Dennis Yip’s Regal Army- which I can’t even seeing running a place. “The Cat” then jumps aboard Size’s Real Specialist while Whyte again jumps the John Size ship- which is better than jumping on papa-to-be John Size- and jumps aboard “Jungle John’s” Dominant. Let’s not forget that the trainer raced the horse over the unsuitable Happy Valley track and which is sure to have brought the horse on to its absolute peak. The problem I have with Dominant is whether it can live up to its name and wonder if it’s more of a pussy enjoying the charms of a gentle dominatrix with a feather boa in hand instead of a whip.
As for “The Cat”, he has some interesting runners- no real standouts on paper, but paper, like ‘looks’, can be deceiving as many of us found out the hard way on Wednesday at Happy Valley. Good grief! Talk about grabbing a ride on The Titanic and going down with the ship for the count. Things we were told would “piss in” just folded like armchairs on, yes, The Titanic. It was a cold night in hell and we should have gone to the HKJC’s new club- Adrenaline- and tried their touch-screen racing board called I B U. It’s pretty bloody amazing and looks like something from “Alien” or “Close Encounters.” It’s a movie waiting to be made by Steven Spielberg: From the Director who gave you “E.T.” comes “I B U.”
As for Sunday, there are some jockey engagements which had me raising my hairy eyebrows and thinking, “Huh?” Richard Gibson using now-seven pound claimer Alvin “The Chipmunk” Ng kinda makes sense as it brings the horse’s weight down after a very good season replete with wins and with the end game probably being to have it drop in the handicaps so it can climb back up again next season. In the last race of the day, Tony Cruz uses Jeff Lloyd on Open Sesame- one of the rare occasions “Putha Man” has used the old codger and Hong Kong punters will back this one off the map thinking it’s a “farewell present.” The “logic” of local punters never ceases to amaze me.
As for Jeff Lloyd, he will be missed and I hope he goes off with a bang and has another “Mars Attacks!” in the saddle- “Mars Attacks!” being the only movie he has appeared in to date and where he required no makeup nor stylist. His chances? Perhaps Happy Cha Cha in Race 6, Danzulu in Race 7 and Cosmic Boom in Race 10- not exactly banging chances, but what to do?
In the last race , there could be value galore as the other Cruz runner- Real Supreme, perhaps Fortune Red Pepper and the very interesting Frederick Engels are worthy of great respect. It’s also interesting to see that Brett Prebble takes over on the latter horse for “Jungle John” Moore after Little Timmy Clark has done all the donkey work on it. Like I have said, as long as “The Hobbit” doesn’t become “Jungle John’s” bitch, all will be good for him.
With regards to the Prebble- Moore Mutual Admiration Society, word is that the jockey has made a very good financial arrangement for picking n choosing what to ride and with his hit rate, why the fuck not? On the subject of this MAS- semi, permanent or semi-detached- let’s not lose sight of nor forget Darren Beadman. “The Dazzler” was, yes, stable jockey for Moore, but he was also something very much like a co-Trainer who did a great deal of work to ensure that the horses were ready to win and ironed out whatever chinks were in their armour- no pun intended as chinks in the armour are bloody hard to iron out especially when owners wanting “sure winners.”
Many seem to forget the role Beadman played in all this “Cups King” rubbish and it pisses me right off and makes me wanna squat and squeeze out a samosa. Of course, word that the legendary jockey will not ride again is rampant and if I were him, no matter what happens during his rehabilitation period, I’d forget about returning to the saddle. What else is there for him to prove? Nothing.
Words from Oz is that when he is fit and ready- and only he will know when this will- Darren Beadman will turn to training. Some say that this will happen back in Oz while there are mumblings that he is being actively- and financially- pursued by the Macau Jockey Club to take out a trainer’s license over there. And why not? Many of “Jungle John’s” owners also have horse in Macau and “The Dazzler” will be a big draw card. How he will be able to stomach the antics of “Brother” Gary Moore is something else, of course. Whatever happens, many, including myself, simply wish a speedy recovery to a top bloke and a brilliant jockey- one of the best Hong Kong has seen and the idol of many young jockeys riding in Hong Kong who grew up wanting to be Darren Beadman- the real Cups King. Sorry, but they broke the mould when they made him.
Elsewhere and back to Shatin and Sunday, I quite like Medic Champion in Race 4, Horseshoe Fortune even though it has Terry CW Wong in the saddle, Scarlett Camellia which seems to be back in form while Derek KC Leung better start finding some form and Real Supreme in the last in what might be a very big day for the Tony Cruz-Matthew Chadwick combination.
In the meantime, and totally outta Left Field, ever heard of seen Florence Colgate. Well, here she is and has been named as having “The Most Beautiful Face in Britain.” Agree? She is not exactly hard on the eye, but I’m just checking why she has “The Most Beautiful Face”? Just wondering..as I have an enormous crush on this girl. Lame me? Sad about the name though: “Here’s my girlfriend- Florence Colgate. Smile for the nice people, baby.”