(Courtesy of http://www.fasttrack.hk)
STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH
Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself, but I’m wondering if everyone amongst the current batch of trainers will still be standing here at the end of the season.
(Source: Real Life Travels)
Some might say the new rules of training a minimum of fifteen winners as opposed to that off-beat number of thirteen is tough going, but life is tough and it’s what you make of it.
If John Moore has a posse of owners happy to splurge on horses to win the big races and, let’s say, Francis Lui, despite being a nice and malleable guy, doesn’t- he does have quite an infusion of new horses this season- well, it proves that either a trainer is just not popular or that nice guys end up last.
As for the jockey ranks, it’s reasonably strong- Whyte, Purton, Mosse, Doleuze, Prebble, Marwing, Angland, Chadwick- but then droops down like a man without “a piece of a utility tool kit”.
(Source: Deviant Art)
Who might be a good marquee name to give this list some oomph? There are plenty- especially from Europe- but they’re Superjocks busy riding Group 1 winners and not ready to scrounge around for Class 5 discards.
My vote for a marquee name would be Joao Moreira.
Magic Man Moreira who in a class of his own in Singapore, would be a huge drawcard in Hong Kong riding against Dougie Whyte and Zac Purton. It would not just create a level playing field, it would add new star value to the riding ranks.
The Magic Man will almost certainly ride in Hong Kong on a permanent basis, but the sooner the better.
What about a rider from Oz? Nope, can’t see it.
For decades, the Chinese racing media and many local owners have an had an aversion to Aussie jocks- an aversion which started all those years ago when Peter Miers and trainer Bob Burns ran the show in Hong Kong with other Aussie jockeys and has, in many ways, continued.
(Source: The Sydney Morning Herald)
Punters have long memories and which is probably why Ray Setches , Peter Gumbleton, Leon Fox, Bill Burnett and Rod Staples all those years ago, Boss, Nikolic, below, Cory Brown, Munce, Cooksley, Steven King, Craig Williams, Damien Oliver etc in more recent times, never warmed the cockles of the hearts of local owners.
(Source: Punters Paradise)
In recent years, only Zac Purton, especially, and Tommy Berry have not incurred the wrath of Khan and the suspicion among the Chinese racing media that Aussie jockeys work as part of some business network with the long shadow of Cosmo Chan coming to mind. Conspiracy theories have been rampant for decades.
Having said this, I can see Patrick Payne easily fitting into the Hong Kong training ranks- something that would only be entertained IF the city loses another Aussie trainer.
(Source: Fair Fax Regional)
Payne was one of the best jockeys to ride in Hong Kong, the Chinese media loved him and, today, he has proven himself to be a very good trainer in Australia with support from a number of Hong Kong- based owners.
(Source: Racing And Sports)
Though some will say, Paddy Payne has more money than the god guy and will never come to Hong Kong, let’s remember that despite all the work the Big Guy upstairs does, he is vastly underpaid.
(Source: Jesus Divine Mercy)
So will one, perhaps even two trainers pull the pin on Hong Kong mid-stream?
I’m betting yes, and odds are the HKJC has a backup plan and where the Club won’t get caught short as was the case with the spate of jockey suspensions last season which meant flying in re-enforcements. And part-time re-enforcements often lack that something called commitment.
(Source: Leadership Principles)
As for the start of the season, it’s a somewhat “empty” and low key affair with Brett Prebble riding in Australia until early next year, Mosse riding Group 1 “goatees” in Europe, Howard Cheng and Vincent Ho still on the injury list whereas I can only assume that Weichong Marwing is suspended.
(Source: Horse Racing Headquarters)
(MIA for the start of the season)
Sure, there are three new riders for the first few months of the season and it will be interesting to see who gets the most support.
(Source: British Champions Series)
(Source: The New Age)
With the current thin jockey ranks needing some Rogaine, it’s the best time for this pretty much unknown threesome to show what they’re made of- and who certainly are being offered greater opportunities than when Tom Quealy arrived here last season and known only for his association with the mighty Frankel.
(Source: Daily Mail)
Though a very nice bloke, having Quealy and fellow Englishman Neil Callan in Hong Kong again later this season is not exactly like having Christophe Soumillon- back riding for the Aga Khan- and Olivier Peslier, are they?
(Source: Daily Mail)
However, ever since the news of Richard Fourie returning to South Africa to take up an offer he couldn’t refuse, the jungle drums have been beating loudly about the riding skills of new boy Karis Teetan.
Having watched videos of his rides, he is more than ready to make his presence felt and Hong Kong racing looks set to unveil another new riding talent.
Like a ping pong match and getting back to trainers, have we REALLY seen the last of colorful trainer Andy Leung or is he lurking in the background and keeping an eye on all those new horses that joined his stable for a few months?
Let’s face it, why on earth would a trainer about to retire receive new horses? It would be a Duh move unless part of a long-term plan where nothing changes.
There’s no need to bet that Andy Pandy is very much around much the same way Brian Kan retired- but kept tabs on “his” stable through various foot soldiers- as this Sylvester of the puddy tats is now a, er, racing columnist, turns up for trackwork as always and, these might be filthy rumors, but is said to openly mention “controlling” two struggling stables.
But, if true, will this type of business arrangement be tolerated? Nope and watch this space for more on the subject.
Also, watch this space for news on the ambitious plans of cash-rich Sun Equine International.
With its strong Macau casino connections, the company’s recent very expensive purchase of Eliza Park in Oz is more than a little interesting along with lavish launch party thrown in Melbourne and attended by many specially invited Hong Kong racing personalities.
(Source: Elf Wood)
It’s all rather interesting and will be quite telling to see where the Sun rises and sets out here or if the picture gets hazy and with the long-range forecast predicting thunderstorms. Snap, crackle and pop, baby.
(Source: The Doggy World)
THE FAST TRACKER ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE 2013-2014 SEASON
It’s a given that the on-track rivalry between the Durban Demon and The Zac Attack will continue unabated with Douglas Whyte having to “prove himself” yet again despite winning thirteen consecutive Jockey Premierships.
This season, the “chirps” are squawking that Whyte is “too old”, something heard for over eight years along with the ancient mantra that Size matters and is actually everything.
Everyone ages except for Andy Leung and, sure, Douglas Whyte is no spring chicken but neither is he Methuselah. Age- and experience- makes the heart- and head- grow tougher whereas proven over and over last season was that John Size didn’t really matter.
Yes, the Whyte-Size partnership is very much intact like any other jockey-trainer relationship, but to keep singing this same old song is churlish, childish and sounds feeble- like Methuselah
(Source: Safe Children)
Yes, Zac Purton is an excellent jockey who has tasted Group 1 success Internationally and looks set to give The Whyte Man a damn good run for his money this season.
It’s great theatre for racing fans with The Zac Attack, fit, ready and finely-tuned to finally slay the Durban Demon- but if the latter does another Houdini act and racks up Premiership 14, well, it’s game, set and match and the same old song must stop. Puhleeeese.
(Source: Daily Galaxy)
How do their rides rack up against each other today?
Whyte has eight rides with Destined For Glory trained by John Moore looking his best and, perhaps, the crassly named Golden Addiction and Dehere’s The Love whereas Purton looks ready to dine out on Man- Manfred Man’s Dining Star which tackles Class 3 company for the first time after a facile Do Wah Diddy Diddy win on the final day of last season.
Elsewhere, I’ll be watching Karis Teetan’s ride on Apollo Chevalier which might get a soft lead out in front and also what he does on a first starter for my old mate David Ferraris, below, named, hell, Heavenisaracehorse, while the other new boys- Nico Pinna and Colm Donaghue- have some so-so chances and will, of course, be doing their best with what they have so they can get that important first winner on board.
It’s an average card for the first day, but after a two month break and a huge Triple Trio jackpot, Hong Kong’s rabid racing fans will be out in droves to cheer, jeer and have their favorite sport back to go nuts about and squirrel their winnings or lick their wounds and wait to fight another day.
Which is far better than licking their balls.
(Source: Pe Hub)
HARLOW DALI PIC TIPS FOR SUNDAY
THE FAST TRACKER’S PICKS FOR SUNDAY
* betting races
RACE 2: YAT DING DING (7)
RACE 3: DESTINED FOR GLORY (6)
RACE 5: APOLLO CAVALIER (1)
(Source: EP Guides)
A new season and more Six Ups to win plus a new series of Finding Happy Wednesday featuring Sarika, Natalie and Justin.
Today looks an especially tough day but Sarika has taken over the reins and picked what she is pretty confident about- except for the last race which she describes as being more dangerous than a mousetrap.
SELECTIONS FROM THE BIG APPLE (@SW064351)
(Source: Local No Mad)
Race 3, No. 1 Rich Tapestry
Massive effort to keep on in Sha Tin Vase despite racing wide without cover. Should prove too classy for these.
Race 10, No. 5 Deep Thinker
Has been finishing well lately in slowly run races and will be swooping late once again.
Race 8, No. 10 Glacier Blue
Won smartly last start when leading all the way and will give a good sight once again with the draw and light weight.
Selections from the Third Dividen
(Source: E-Bay Image)
Race 1: Tim Mei Hcp (CL5)
1 – Cosmo One (11)
2 – Bernhards Choice (5)
3 – Good Smile (3)
4 – Epee De Hua (8)
Race 2: Harcourt Hcp
1 – Yat Ding Win (7)
2 – Golden Addiction (5)
3 – Lovely Boy (3)
4 – Roman Legend (1)
Race 3: KHSAR Chief Executive’s Cup
1 – Rich Tapestry (1)
2 – Destined For Glory (6)
3 – Go Baby Go (2)
4 – Cerise Cherry (3)
Race 4: Tim Wa Hcp (CL5)
1 – Idyllic Wind (11)
2 – City Delight (1)
3 – Lotus Love (6)
4 – Good Times Roll (8)
Race 5: Tamar Hcp (CL4)
1 – Apollo Cavalier (1)
2 – Jun Ju (5)
3 – Forever Ahead (9)
4 – Majestic Anthem (8)
Race 6: Lung Wui Hcp (CL4)
1 – T-Bolt (3)
2 – Golden Gunners (2)
3 – Atacx (1)
4 – K-Moochi (9)
Race 7 (Q1): Albert Hcp (CL2)
1 – Beauty Sparkle (3)
2 – Dane Patrol (9)
3 – Little Cow (1)
4 – Rumba King (5)
Race 8 (Q2): Drake Hcp (CL3)
1 – Dining Star (9)
2 – Smart Volatility (3)
3 – Glorious Sunday (5)
4 – Multivictory (4)
Race 9 (Q3): Garden Road Hcp (CL3)
1 – Amber Dragon (6)
2 – Smiling Watch (9)
3 – Beauty Journey (2)
4 – Plentiful (4)
Race 10 (Q4): Cotton Tree Hcp (CL2)
1 – Fair Trade (1)
2 – Deep Thinker (5)
3 – Why Not (11)
4 – Winnie’s Horse (13)
Race 2: Yat Ding Win (7)
Race 7: Beauty Sparkle (3)
Race 5: Apollo Cavalier (1)
Race 5: Majestic Anthem (8)
Quaddie ($100 gets you 39%)