Well, after weeks and even months of assessing the BMW HKNDerby, re-assessing it, getting dizzy keeping touch with the jockey merry-go-round, trainers doing their best to get their owners expensive purchases a start, some rubbishing the Derby as “the world’s richest Class 2 race”, this $16m race was taken out by Akeed Mofeed.
One can even say that this was one of the BEST Hong Kong Derbies and with a number of young guns in the race like Poetic Justice going to make their mark in a very big- and International way.
It was given the perfect ride by Douglas Whyte with this very good stallion trained by Richard Gibson and owned by Pan Siu-tong, head of Golden Holdings, and set to become one of Hong Kong’s most powerful owners.
Listening to our old mate JoJo McKinnon who sounded delirious speaking about Akeed Mofeed before the race, we had to smile. But who could blame her?
Being the partner of Richard Gibson and being such a passionate racing professional, JoJo knew what it has taken to get this horse right.
To those who once talked about Gibson as being “the flavor of the day” and to see how good he will be when purchasing horses, well they must be choking on their words.
If he wasn’t already, along with John Size, Richard Gibson is the Go To trainer right now with current and new owners beating a path to his door. But here is a trainer who has approached this race in a professional and low-key manner.
And let’s not overlook Whyte’s ride-and his third Derby in four years-which was not a sit and steer job. There were some scary moments when it seemed to get stirred up and lose its rhythm for a while.
Let’s not also forget the run of the other Gibson runner- Gold-Fun- which came third and the brilliant “out of the ratings” run by John Size’s Endowing ridden by Dwayne Dunn.
Apart from another Gibson runner in Mizani ruled out of the race in the afternoon which prevented first reserve Jolly Victor taking its place in the race, were there any hard luck stories and will the usual suspects come dithering to the media during the usual post-mortems after any of these big races? Hope not.
But disappointed owners need to be calmed down and ensured that there were excuses and how “next time” things will be different.
Of course, similar apologies made the rounds weeks earlier when horses purchased specifically for The Derby never made the final cut and were were left out of the fourteen horse field.
That’s racing when the stakes are high, and “face” and egos are at stake.
(Source: Toon Pool)
Away from the Derby was the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup which saw Ambitious Dragon, Glorious Days and Lucky Nine clash over the 1400 metre race.
If one expected this to be a tight three-horse race, well, it was a one horse race with Ambitious Dragon ridden by Zac Purton giving an awesome display to demolish his rivals.
They say there are two Ambitious Dragons and this was the day when this mighty Dragon was at its best, on fire and all credit to Tony Millard for a great training effort- and a winning time of 1.20.63 with The Zac Attack easing his mount down.
Second was Time After Time and Glorious Days looking a very ordinary third with Lucky Nine running fifth and found to be lame.
The day started off with the crowds teeming in on foot, train, the MTR, taxis and many in chauffer-driven Mercs, BMWs and Rollers while race 1, a lowly class affair began as a cold appetizer and was taken out by Backstreet Fighter ridden by Zac Attack, the winner coming from the middle of the track.
Though ka-boomed in the betting to start favorite, the Caspar Fownes’ trained Hurry Hurry Up found it tough going on the inside of the track- or it just isn’t good enough for Class 5 which could mean a quick requirement for the horse. But Fownes The Younger was to bounce back like a good waterbed.
(Source: Apple Daily)
It was a competitive race with Tim Clark on Double Moon keeping Dougie Whyte hemmed in all the way on non-winner Lucky Chevalier.
It was a very good ride by the Hobbit which probably left the Durban Demon fuming and crossing him from his Christmas list while trainer “Darth” Ferraris looked as if he was screaming at Luke.
(Source: One Plus Infinity)
Dougie Whyte took out Race 2 on Heartland, it’s first win in over twenty starts and which must have brought a smile to Pato Leung’s face, manager of owners-the Goodtime Syndicate- who once managed- and named- a band called The Loosers.
(Source: Wiser Club)
Pato could never spell and is also known for penning a ditty in the Eighties called The Backside Of Your Mind for local chanteuse Chelsea Chan. The song was bloody horrible. Listen.
There was a new spring in Casibah Fownes step after his Peppermint, well ridden by Ollie Doleuze, staved off Ryan Moore on Percy Jackson to take out race 3 at 33 to 1.
Some mumbled that the horse was not backed. Sour grapes? Mmmm, judging by the welcoming committee and Ollie’s tres grande smile, I would beg to differ.
Perhaps they were there to lead in Lucky Nine? Perhaps they were there to lead in Lord Dragon which won race 6? Who knows and who cares?
(Source: Ales Sandrogirola)
All I know was there was a huge moan in Oz when Heco Rider ridden by Craig Williams was backed for a stack and only managed third.
Why does Craig Williams remind me of a refuge from the Planet Of The Apes?
(Source: Twilight Zone Vortex)
After this race, one almost expected Cas to do a little dance and get down right there and then. But the old security guards were watching him. Then again, how much “security” can these old boys provide?
Race 4 went to that great French swordsman Gerard Mosse on Richard Gibson’s Full Value which held off Brett Prebble on Caspar Fownes’ Victory Mascot.
Watching the end of the race, the defeat might have squeaked out an outburst of merde from the Aussie. Mosse seemed non-plussed by it all and was all Pepe Le Peu coolness.
(Source: The Gloss)
Race 5 saw Brett Prebble at his vigorous best to win on the Ling family’s Sterling City and which brought up John Moore’s 1,300th winner in Hong Kong- an incredible record who is looking more and more like Truman Capote.
The day ended with Dougie Whyte notching a treble by being victorious on Victorious and Zac Purton refusing to give up and lifting Metallic Star to win the last.
For the Hong Kong Jockey Club and sponsor BMW, they are left with a pretty pleasant problem: How to outdo what was a truly sensational Derby Day that really had it all unlike that sad refrain from the hit by Adele.
We should all have such problems!