With Macau coming to Hong Kong for the first leg of the annual Hong Kong-Macau Interport, our minds were jogged to some of the weird and wonderful things which we saw and were even part of when most of Hong Kong would make that ferry ride over to Macau and then make that trip and a half to the wacky world of Taipa.
One of the first winners Craig Robertson, below, rode in Macau was Welcome, the smallest horse running at the time and a very cheap buy- HK$70,000- which won over twelve races.
Having gone through a number of trainers, it ended up with the George Moore.
That night meeting, the Maestro gave Welcome no chance of winning. But win it did at over 17s.
The co-owners had an argy bargy as one group backed it as it was an honest little horse while the others didn’t.
Seeing the winners collect over $50k, they figured that there had been some kinda private fix in the race as did old George who left in a huff.
Anyway, to celebrate the win, the winning group of owners took an innocent Craig Robertson to the largest escort club in Macau. Cheongsam-ed beauties greeted him with the word, “Welcome”.
Craig was stunned. “Did they see me win on Welcome?” he salivated. “Yeah, you’re fucking famous here”, answered one of the owners. “You’ll hear them say Welcome every time they see you.” And they did.
In the early days of Viagra, a Macau based Aussie trainer eager to “get there” fast, took four blue pills and which gave him a headache, blurred vision and a stiffie for over four days.
When a jockey in Macau, Gary Moore made magnanimous gestures after a winning ride.
One day, he threw his whip up in the air and long before he made it to the winner’s circle.
Long after the races, Gary, dressed in a dapper suit, was seen trudging through the grass in for his whip.
The owners and the jockey had it all figured out: when the jockey puts his whip under his right arm when taking the horse around the paddock, that’s the signal to put the money on. If he has the whip under the left arm, it’s a No Go. Easy.
The owners hit Darling and then Club De China, have a very long night and go straight to the track and stand by the rails.
The jockeys keeps going by race after race while the punting owners stay put discussing if he had meant that the whip would be under HIS right arm or what was the right arm to THEM.
The jockey had four winners that day and received zero sling.
A horse called Montana Max was at one time the most expensive purchase in Macau.
Trained in Oz by Robert Smerdon, the golden colored horse was nicknamed “Trigger” by Geoff Allendorf, who, after doing trackwork on it, decided it had all the sizzle of a show pony.
On race day, the ride goes to our old mate Craig Robertson.
Trained by Peter Leyshan, the connections had also entered their other horse Fun Fun Fun ridden by Neil Paine, below. Trigger was at 7s and Fun Fun Fun was at 35s.
As expected, Fun Fun Fun got in front and kept going- and going and going.
Montana Max/Trigger was never sighted and the prize winning ceremony was a sombre affair with the Cup given to a young Russian lady later that night as a token of appreciated after the owners fried to forget their 35 to 1 “win”
We remember the look on the faces of all the other Jockeys wives looked up and saw the new girlfriend of an Aussie jockey.
Riding quite successfully in South Australia, the married jock whose missus was back in Oz- a good bloke with shit for brains and not exactly an Adonis- had decided to show off his latest conquest- an Eastern European, who arrived in a silver mini skirt, long silver boots, a see-through blouse and La Parfum de Whore.
Of course, like The Witches of Eastwick gave the Jockey’s wife- and pregnant at the time- a call and he was gonzo back to Oz.
This joke was always making the rounds: How can you spot Italian jockey Claude Piccione’s wife? She is the one with the biggest smile in Macau.
Even “Huge” Bowman had nothing on Piccione and French coxman and brilliant jockey in the Frenchman William Mongil who both rode in Macau for many years.