(Courtesy of http://www.fasttrack.hk)
STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH
It was a real Happy Wednesday at Happy Valley Racecourse- the first for the season- where the hardcore and more “mature” punters mingled or tried to with a true United Nations of racing rookies led by some of the best looking women we don’t see ANYWHERE else in Hong Kong.
To those who bleat that these rookies don’t give a damn about the races- it’s not life or death to them as they have better things to do with their lives than be old fart racing tragics- well, I wish they could have seen a young Swiss Miss on Wednesday at Happy Valley bang down $20k on Bundle Of Love to win- she liked the name.
Sadly, it came second and so no bundle of joy for her there though I did give her a consoling cuddle.
Then there were the three Canadian Chinese girls who pooled their money and had $30k on Ensemble to place. They were Dougie Whyte fans who were playing with their profits made on his winner in race 1.
Then, what the group of young Italians who bet $10k on winner Forzza as it was ridden by Italian new boy Nico Penna?
These rookies might not know handicapping, barriers, watch The Goodfellas or follow tips, but they have the bucks to bang, there’s method in their betting madness and a winner is a winner in any language- and they certainly added to the almost 20,000 race-goers on course and a turnover of over $850 million for a mid-week night meeting.
What really makes me laugh are those old school know-it-alls who bet piddly amounts in Hong Kong and Oz, have never even stepped into Adrenaline or the Beer Garden and, as Dylan said, criticize what they don’t understand and live in fear of change.
Ironically, many work for the HKJC, but they just squat and squawk from their usual vantage points with zero knowledge or pride in Hong Kong’s racing product today and the changes taking place under their very noses.
Soon, these pockets of negativity will become extinct- relics from another time who bet a maximum of a grand “back home” or take $2 flexi bets and mouth off about “smashing the tote”. Puhleeeze.
And people wonder why bookmakers in Oz do backflips to recruit Asian clients, especially from Hong Kong who would bet as much at a meeting in Tamworth as they would on a meeting at Flemington. Ignorance is bliss and a bet is a bet.
Looking back at Wednesday night’s racing, it was far better than expected- competitive, exciting and tremendously entertaining- especially the last race where Dougie Whyte on Cool Bean kept Zac Purton on the favorite-Pleasure Gains- in a pocket, until the latter pulled off a Houdini act, barged through and won.
With a number of rides confirmed in some big upcoming International races and, as predicted, choosing to ride Military Attack over Ambitious Dragon for which trainer John Moore and powerful owner Steven Lo have overseas forays in mind for the horse, one has to wonder if that Al Stewart hit named The Year Of The Cat might be re-recorded and released as The Year Of The Zac?
It’s very obvious that Zac Purton has his sights set on winning the Hong Kong Jockey Premiership, yes, but also tasting more success internationally and establishing himself as a truly world class jockey who has now won Group 1 races at Ascot, Japan and Singapore. It’s a long way from winning a race in Macau.
As for Wednesday night at Happy Valley, there was also frustration on track as I watched Richard Gibson’s face after Derek Leung’s ride on his Wishfull Petrol which was backed for a stack and started the 2.7 favorite in the race.
The horse went like the clappers on a leaders track for 500 meters before running out of, well, petrol, and being a gassed force at the end of the race.
Gibbo’s face turned as purple as an eggplant whereas Leung, who once looked to be one of the best local riding talents, seems to have reached his mark with no room for improvement.
Meanwhile, trainer Gary Ng, who seems to only know how to train sprinters, might have had a smile on his face and spring in his step for the cameras when St Yazin won at 60 to 1 – it was gifted with a saloon passage and pilot Eddie Lai- a real trier and pretty underrated- had no choice but to win. Poof- there went the plans for a class drop along with no stable money on it.
When leaving the course an hour after the last race, my friends and I did wonder if the bloke we saw flagellating himself was Gary. The Animal Farm squealing was horrible to hear.
As for all those pundits who scoffed at the thought of Ensemble having a chance of winning over 1000 meters but yet came soooo close to winning, well, it underlines the dangers of knowing too much- and never being able to tell how that Valley track will ride until after the first two races- maybe.
SMILE! YOU’RE A MILLIONAIRE!
Anyone wish to win $150 MILLION over the next few days?
Well, the good people at the HKJC would like to help.
Okay, today at Shatin, there is a small jackpot to be won in the third Double Trio- but there is also a HUGE Triple Trio jackpot expected to reach over $40m.
On top of this, there is a Mark Six- the local lottery- jackpot.
How does one win the Triple Trio on Sunday?
By picking the first three horses in races 4, 5 and 6- and which can come in in any order.
On Tuesday- remember there is NO racing at Happy Valley on Wednesday because of the Mid-Autumn Festival- there is a Six Up AND a Triple Trio which, again, takes place in races 4,5 and 6.
Sure, a Triple Trio is damn difficult to win. One popular way to attack it is to pick one horse that MUST be in the first three.
Once this has been decided, pick another four or five other horses.
Two of these MUST also be in the top three placings.
One can always buy a Triple Trio as a $5 or even a $2 or $3 ticket.
The most cost-effective way of trying your luck is to have a go at it with some friends- five or six friends- and each chipping in around $200-$500.
In the words of our friend Nike Chan- no relation to Adidas and Reebok Chan- Just Do It!
The lissome lass and Eurasian beauty came within a whisker of tipping a chunky AUD$21k quaddie for her legion of drooling fans in Oz- and at her first attempt.
So who says she’s just a pretty face who can dance up a storm? Not us, baby.
Here’s her Quaddie selections for today at Shatin.
Giddy up and get with the program!
THE FAST TRACKER ON TODAY’S RACES AT SHATIN
The competition between Douglas Whyte and Zac Purton is warming up and was seen to great advantage when The Durban Demon tried to keep The Zac Attack in a pocket during the last race on Wednesday.
Nothing wrong with that move at all. It was just knowing your ride couldn’t win so make damn sure your main competition failed with no Get Out Of Jail Free card.
As Zac mentioned, if the boot was on the other foot, he would have done exactly the same. That’s the spirit, boys: Never give an inch. Do that and people ask for a foot.
Today, as if to show that Size having to matter is a fallacy, Dougie Whyte has secured the rides on two of trainer Dennis Yip’s horses- the lowly but untapped potential of Jack’s Gem and the stable’s star All You Wish.
This might be surprising to some as Dennis Yip had been the strongest supporter of Zac Purton along with Casper Fownes.
There have even been rumors of The Zac Attack eventually being retained as stable rider for the Yip yard.
I can’t see this happening, but, then, again, who would have thought that the very good Brett Doyle, currently in Malaysia before starting another stint in Bahrain and then his regular gig in the UK as jockey for Sheik Khalifa, would be retained by the eccentric Andy Leung and what was a tinpot stable of horses? Who saw THAT one coming? Not me.
That was the past and today, Dennis Yip is playing a smart game- picking and choosing his riders- some, like his apprentice Alvin Ng, riding to get his horses down in the handicaps- and then having the choice of Whyte- who once was his key Go To rider- or Purton- or new boy Karis Teetan- when his big guns and small pistols are ready to fire.
Will Brett Prebble, three seasons ago, Yip’s go-to jockey when fighting for the Jockeys Premiership against Whyte also get the backing of the trainer?
Never say never, but I shall: Never though one doubts this gives Prebble sleepless nights. Owner Lloyd Williams in Oz has made sure of that along with people like trainer David Hayes and I really can’t see the jock riding in Hong Kong next season.
Home is where the heart is and with the enormous haul- geddit?- he has made in Hongkers, like Jo Jo, he’ll get back, get back, get back to where he once belonged.
How do the Durban Demon and The Zac Attack stack up with their rides today?
They’ll be on some real shorties that everyone and their dog will howl about so I won’t bother joining with the howling as if in heat.
Going down the card, here are some thoughts:
R1: Psychologist and how it will be ridden. When Tony Vasil had this horse it had enormous potential. In Hong Kong, the training methods were changed when the wheel was not broken and Psychologist became confused. Might still be in need of horse therapy or the Valium might have helped.
R2: Dougie Whyte is sure doing quite a bit of riding for Danny Shum- as he is here- but this, as a betting race? Pass.
R3: Pretty One with Dickie Lui’s claim looks interesting.
R4: One of those races on the dirt that can get messy- but Whyte riding one for Hall and taking a voluntary class drop is worth a second look.
R5: Some say one cannot go past the Whyte-Yip combination of Jack’s Gem- BUT, Precision Era and Prince Haradasun will offer far more value and have strong winning chances.
R6: Flame Hero MUST win- surely? Even with Marwing aboard. Six races gone and Whyte is not on even one ride for Johnny Size and Purton’s been on only one for Dennis Yip.
R7: May All Your Wishes come true. Or could Mizani and Zaidan spoil the party?
R8: I like Zac on Masquerader. Think the penny hasn’t still dropped with this horse. Might today. Marwing on Smiling Watch? Hmmm.
R9: Bobo Dragon shouldn’t make a Boo Boo out of anyone, Yogi.
R10: Having Derek Leung ride the Richard Gibson-trained Super Caga must have been a request from owner Eric Tsang and his showbiz mates. I prefer the other Gibson runner- Flying Ibis.
Plentiful is backing up from last week and has Zac up- thank gawd- while the Whyte-Size combo gets together on Red Dancer-a very big chance.
All in all, not a difficult looking card on paper, but these are the most tricky, especially with big jackpots involved- AND SHOWERS FORECAST.
Upset races? I would say, races 3,4, perhaps 7, race 8- a shocker- and a feeble looking last race where, if Red Dancer is planted wide, a bad genie might pop up.
THE FAST TRACKER’S SUGGESTIONS FOR SUNDAY AT SHATIN
BEST BET: RACE 9: BO BO DRAGON (1)
NEXT BEST: RACE 10: RED DANCER (2)
OUTSIDER: RACE 7: ZAIDAN (3)
HARLOW DALI’S PICTURE TIPS
THE FAST TRACK ENTOURAGE SIX UP
SELECTIONS FROM THE BIG APPLE (@SW064351)
Race 7, No. 8 Mizani
Produced one of the runs of last season at Happy Valley when flashing home to beat Outdoor Pegasus despite beginning awkwardly. Will be flying late once again.
Race 8, No. 7 Hypersonic
Never reached contention last start after racing wide against a rail bias. Run should be forgiven and is worth another chance.
Race 10, No. 8 Hong Kong Dancer
Has tactical speed and will get a slowly run race to suit. Each-way claims.
TODAY’S SELECTIONS FROM THE THIRD DIVIDEND
SHA TIN (HONG KONG)
Sun, 15th Sep 13
Day Races @HKJC_Racing
Turf (“B” Course/AWT)
Weather: Mainly fine. Isolated showers in the afternoon.
The maximum temperature will be around 31 degrees.
Moderate east to northeasterly winds.
Race 1: Chaozhou Cl4 Hcp
1 – Psychologist (4) ($4.10 TAB Tote)
2 – Santa Fe Sun (2)
3 – Mr Award (7)
4 – Winning Advantage (10)
Race 2: Dongguan Cl5 Hcp
1 – Namjong Turbo (10) ($3.70 TAB Tote)
2 – Smart Guy (4)
3 – Bamboo Dance (3)
4 – Happy Kaiser (2)
Race 3: Foshan Cl3 Hcp
1 – Costa Del Sol (3) ($4.10 TAB Tote)
2 – Master Sommelier (7)
3 – Geronimo Meadow (14)
4 – Sudden Thunder (6)
Race 4: Guangzhou Cl4 Hcp
1 – Hurry Hurry Up (9) ($6.20 TAB Tote)
2 – Easy Ahead (11)
3 – Expedite (5)
4 – Master Rio (2)
Race 5: Huizhou Cl4 Hcp
1 – King Haradasun (5) ($4.60 TAB Tote)
2 – Jack’s Gem (11)
3 – Malayan Pearl (4)
4 – Viva Guy (12)
Race 6: The Yan Chai Trophy Cl4 Hcp
1 – Thanksgiving (6) ($4.40 TAB Tote)
2 – Flame Hero (7)
3 – Sight Lover (3)
4 – Electronic Fortune (2)
Race 7 (Q1): The Kwangtung Cup Cl1 Hcp
1 – All You Wish (9) ($3.10 TAB Tote)
2 – Mizani (8)
3 – Noble Alpha (10)
4 – Zaidan (1)
Race 8 (Q2): Shantou Cl3 Hcp
1 – Hypersonic (7) ($3.00 TAB Tote)
2 – Bo Bo Express (11)
3 – Getaway Guy (1)
4 – Spoke To Carlo (9)
Race 9 (Q3): Shenzhen Cl2 Hcp
1 – Bobo Dragon (1) ($3.10 TAB Tote)
2 – Dining World (6)
3 – Jun Gong (9)
4 – Rocket Let Win (11)
Race 10 (Q4): Zhuhai Cl3 Hcp
1 – Red Dancer (2) ($11.40 TAB Tote)
2 – Buddy Buddies (4)
3 – Ambassadorship (9)
4 – Flying Ibis (11)
Race 1: Psychologist (4) ($4.10 TAB Tote)
Race 9: Bobo Dragon (1) ($3.10 TAB Tote)
Race 10: Red Dancer (2) ($11.40 TAB Tote)
Race 2: Happy Kaiser (2) ($13.10 TAB Tote)
Quaddie ($100 gets you 39%)