(Courtesy of http://www.fasttrack.hk)
THE FAST TRACKER ON OCTOBER 1 AT SHATIN
Apart from the bumper $30m Triple Trio Jackpot on offer which is bound to hit over $50m, what made my eyes pop and my stomach queasy is seeing that Douglas Whyte is back on the Sean Woods-trained Autumn Gold.
I have no idea about Whyte’s loyalty to this stayer which he was meant to ride in last year’s HK Derby before jumping ship at the last minute and riding the big race winner Akeed Mofeed.
On a personal note, Whyte has had zero success on Autumn Success which, whenever he rides it, spells doom for myself on the punt. It’s my bad fung shui horse, poor thing, through no fault of his own.
As for the card, it’s a respectable one with many entered before Typhoon Usagi took the piss outta us by sucking instead of blowing, back for take two.
One can only assume that a one week delay would not hurt their chances.
More on these horses later whereas the other surprise is the handful of entries from the Caspar Fownes yard with the popular trainer no doubt focused on ensuring that the great Lucky Nine does Hong Kong proud in Oz.
As usual, Whyte has a solid book of rides- DEHERE’S THE LOVE ( R2), BUNDLE OF JOY (R3), COOL BEAN (R6) and GLORIOUS SUNDAY (R10)- the replacement horse for The Peak, by the way, looking the best and all having been entered on Usagi Cup day.
Meanwhile, Zac Purton seems to be taking a somewhat laid-back approach to everyday racing these days.
Perhaps I’m wrong, but The Zac Attack will always give 100 percent, but just seems more excited in going after International success and leaving the Hong Kong Jockeys Premiership for Whyte, Joao Moreira who arrives here on October 17 and, perhaps, Karris Teetan and Matty Chadwick to fight it out.
Well, this is just my personal opinion and with his main chances today appearing to be KEEN TACTICS (R5) and TODES CON SUERTO (R6).
The jockey to continue following is Olivier Doleuze who, as tipped, won the Jockey Challenge on Wednesday and has another tres bon book of rides today.
The flying Frenchman is, well, flying these days, and it’s always smart to note which horses from the Richard Gibson stable he gives up, who rides these- if Whyte or, when he returns, Mosse, back them- and look at what he might ride for his retained trainer in the next race. Gibbo is no fool.
It’s a bit of twisted logic but it’s like Ollie riding Euro Swiftly in Race 5 on Wednesday instead of Gibson’s Dragon Pins which won for Whyte and then came flying back to win the next for Gibson on Mi Savvy at 10s, below, and adding London China Town to his tally in race 8. The doubles paid VERY well!
These jockey merry-go-rounds are always there to make punters dizzy with confusion- though one knows what they say about the best laid plans: They come unstuck when, especially, apprentice jockeys run amuck with their still to be fully-cranked up fine motor skills.
It’s like Mr Bean suddenly appearing in front of Sebastian Vettel.
THE FAST TRACKER’S TIPS FOR SUNDAY
RACE 1: 4-9-6-10
RACE 2: 7-12-13-9
RACE 3: 3-7-12-8
RACE 4: 4-3-12-5
RACE 5: 14-5-4-10
RACE 6: 6-13-8-5
RACE 7: 7-1-10-4
RACE 8: 5-9-12-2
RACE 9: 9-2-3-14
RACE 10: 9-13-10-4
BEST BET: BUNDLE OF LOVE (RACE 3)
NEXT BEST BET: CALIFORNIA BOUNTY (RACE 7)
LONGSHOT: SOUTHERN SPRINGS ( RACE 5)
The Entourage Six Up
Sarika, Natalie and Justin have been busy filming Finding Happy Wednesday at Happy Valley and have had no time for a 7UP, let alone trying a Six Up, but, with today being a public holiday in Hong Kong, Sarika and Natalie have put their pretty heads together and come up with this.
SARIKA’S SQUADDIE FOR AUSSIES
THERE WAS A SIMULCAST ON SUNDAY???
We missed it, but, apparently, there was a simulcast on Sunday where six races from Japan were shown along with two so-so races from Caulfield which, to those who watched it while channel surfing, really didn’t fit the overall focus of the program. We have no idea as we saw nothing.
Though turnover of over $100m wasn’t too shabby, imagine how much MORE the turnover would have been had people actually known there would be a stimulating simulcast on a Sunday when the next day was a public holiday- National Day.
A throwaway mention in English during the ‘live’ broadcast of the races on Wednesday night and a little write up on the HKJC website is not good nor effective enough.
Who remembers what happened and what was said on Wednesday?
These simulcasts show racing fans how local horses fare when racing overseas while on Sunday, there was the chance to see Lord Kanoala, the world’s top sprinter and heading for the Hong Kong International Races, plus the trainers, the jockeys, the racecourses, the different styles of racing etc.
All this is edutainment. It introduces local racing fans to jockeys, trainers, horses, racecourses etc from other parts of the world.
These simulcasts offer a global view of horse racing and must also be presented this way and not in some dumb Mickey Mouse way with the knowledgable host Jo McKinnon plonked with Noddy, Big Ears. and The Flowerpot Men with no thought put into the presentation and creative product.
Perhaps Jo should stand up and give some hi-fives to her co-host and the camera crew.
In many ways, simulcasts are also the groundwork for when co-mingling happens- and which is why, these simulcasts MUST be marketed the day before, the day of and even when broadcasts have begun- and with clear objectives in mind.
Gaining simulcast Rights is an expensive exercise with a great deal of work involved and where the ball cannot be continually dropped before touchdown.
On a much lighter note, we wish one of the races shown during the simulcast from Caulfield was where The Peak made its debut in Oz with Brett Prebble aboard- it came nowhere- after a disappointing string of runs in Hong Kong except for this brilliant ride and win.
HARLOW DALI AND HIS PICTURE TIPS
STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH
Last Wednesday at Happy Valley, I tried not to, but couldn’t help seeing a racing reporter running around near the jockeys weighing furiously scribbling down notes and interviewing trainers and owners like Basil Fawlty having won on Dragon Fly.
His antics made me realize how deadly dull racing on those Happy Wednesday Nights would be without the ‘live’ music, the party atmosphere created by all those newbies now attending the races because it gives them the best night out in town for ten bucks, the venues, the new betting outlets, the apps, the IBU, racing simulator, the upcoming Racing Touch iPad etc.
Take all this away and what do you have?
The old days of Parkie and Wadey, the post-show rantings of Bill Tung and around 30 minutes of dead air between races featuring riders like The Gauch, Alan Munro, Danny Brereton and many now in Macau and doing the best with their lot in life.
If staying on a relentless hardcore betting course with none of the varied entertainment offered today, horse racing in Hong Kong would not be seen in 2013 as an elitist sport, but, instead, a horrendously boring sport for very old farts which could be watched at home with bets placed online and through telebet accounts- and with this group of punters able to nod off whenever they wanted.
Who’d need to come to the races? For what?
What would Happy Valley Racecourse look like?
Possibly like the “excitement” of the cemetery across the road- or the pitiful attendances at even the bigger meetings in Australia where racing tragics who have never left “home base” talk so knowingly about racing here and believe there is some competition between Hong Kong and Oz. There is no competition as there is nothing to compete with. Nothing.
It’s like many knobs in Oz talking so knowingly about “racing” in China, consumer demand, Hohot versus Tianjin, the weather, the “track”, China “needing help from the Western world” etc while intelligent racing media people who should know better ask these knobs the same questions about this now boring subject.
As for the knobs and their overnight knowledge of China, give it a bloody rest and stop sounding like dumb “gweilos”.
Meanwhile, is the coverage of racing in Hong Kong for television viewers brilliant?
Hardly- and it’s not the fault of hosts like The Three Amigos who do the best they can with what they’re asked to do.
Darren Flindell, Brett Davis, Clint Hutchison and Jenny Chapman can’t exactly form a Buzby Berkley-type conga line dressed as Carmen Miranda and dance and sing that life is like a buncha lovely coconuts. Or jump up and try to give a hi-five to Flinders like that bizarre and cornball promo spot for Racing To Win.
Even on-course, all that LOUD yakking in English and Cantonese before and, especially, after the race has been run and won, is just white noise- meaningless clutter that is ignored by most on-track- especially those at the Beer Garden and Adrenaline who want to chat someone up in the hope of getting laid, make a wager, grab a beer, hear some music and watch the next race go off ASAP.
That noise, that noise!!! Someone STOP Clint Hutchison from rambling on after the horse has bolted!
It might mean something to the television viewer at home, but NO ONE one at the track is listening or cares!
To them, it’s like Quasimodo being tortured by the sound of those goddamn bells!
So, okay, about when watching these broadcasts at home?
With these available on NICAM in Hong Kong, the Chinese punter will be tuned to the far more important Cantonese broadcast and studying the horses whereas I normally have these broadcasts on mute with Frank Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention tripping out in the background.
As has been mentioned here for months on end, until these broadcasts use the same technology and different camera angles plus new styles of editing as, for example, cricket does today instead of filming races exactly as it has been done for over thirty years, there’s really nothing much to watch- except for the race.
On a more positive note, congrats to two of The Three Amigos- Starsky and Hutch- for the win on Sunday of their horse named Thrust- Thrust???- in Swingabore which won race one at 4s and ridden by old mate Corey Brown.
One can only guess more hi-fives were being slapped around.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
SELECTIONS FROM THE BIG APPLE (@SW064351)
Race 9, No. 2 Scarlett Camellia
Multiple course and distance winner who has only missed a place once first-up. Will be suited by slow tempo and should be right in the finish.
Race 6, No. 13 Cool Bean
Run behind Pleasure Gains was full of merit will improve with the step-up in trip.
Race 7, No. 9 Straight Gold
Progressive type whose best runs have been down the straight. Massive each-way hope carrying postage stamp weight.
TODAY’S SELECTIONS FROM THE THIRD DIVIDEND
#ShaTin (HONG KONG)
Day Races @HKJC_Racing
Turf (“C+3” Course)
Weather: Sunny periods with a maximum temperature of around 30 degrees. Moderate to fresh easterly winds, occasionally strong. offshore and on high ground at first.
Race 1: Xian CL5 Hcp
1 – Magical Beam (4)
2 – Step High (9)
3 – Super Team (8)
4 – Hit A Home Run (3)
Race 2: Nanjing CL4 Hcp
1 – Dehere’s The Love (12)
2 – Winning Boy (5)
3 – Lucky Gains (7)
4 – Verdane (2)
Race 3: Shanghai CL3 Hcp
1 – Bundle Of Joy (3)
2 – Big Four (4)
3 – Ensemble (1)
4 – Roman Legend (7)
Race 4 (TT1): Chengdu CL4 Hcp
1 – Fantastico (4)
2 – Golden Addiction (5)
3 – Maroon Prince (3)
4 – Elegant Frames (2)
Race 5 (TT2): Shenyang CL4 Hcp
1 – Malayan Pearl (4)
2 – Keen Tactics (3)
3 – Southern Springs (14)
4 – Dashing Super (5)
Race 6 (TT3): Chongqing CL3 Hcp
1 – Amber Dragon (6)
2 – Cool Bean (13)
3 – Todos Con Suerte (5)
4 – Towering Storm (12)
Race 7 (Q1): The Sha Tin Sprint Trophy
1 – Eagle Regiment (1)
2 – Frederick Engels (2)
3 – Go Baby Go (4)
4 – California Bounty (7)
Race 8 (Q2): The National Day Cup
1 – Rainbow Chic (10)
2 – Bullish Champion (7)
3 – Gold Fun (5)
4 – Akeed Mofeed (4)
Race 9 (Q3): Beijing CL2 Hcp
1 – Vital Gold (9)
2 – Bubble Chic (7)
3 – Victor Delight (1)
4 – Why Not (12)
Race 10 (Q4): Tianjin CL3 Hcp
1 – Glorious Sunday (9)
2 – Mr Gnocchi (10)
3 – Trump (4)
4 – Glacier Blue (13)
Race 3: Bundle Of Joy (3)
Race 6: Amber Dragon (6)
Race 8: Rainbow Chic (10)
Race 7: California Bounty (7)
Quaddie ($100 gets you 39%)