(Courtesy of http://www.fasttrack.hk)
Though one cannot take anything away from the win of Buffering and a superb ride by Damien Browne, a jockey we’ll be hearing much more of in the months to come, the run of Hong Kong’s Lucky Nine to be beaten by a nose set the Twitterverse alight on Friday night after the running of the Group 1 Manikato Stakes- or, as some in Hong Kong call it, The Mikado.
It was a great race- the last on an otherwise drab card- where Browne on Buffering and Brett Prebble gave their all with Caspar screaming the loudest at Moonee Valley- trainer Caspar Fownes- for his favorite horse which was not totally ready for this race.
We’ll see the “real” Lucky Nine when it tackles the Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic on November 9, but what we saw on Friday night was pretty bloody unreal where, after hitting a “flat spot”, it rallied back to go down fighting in a Tysonesque manner plus that something called heart. The horse simply hates to lose.
The Lucky Nine story has been told many times, but I am still uncertain if this brave, brilliant, gutsy horse has really earned its dues along with the superb training and “parental” efforts Caspar Fownes has put into his four-legged baby.
Let’s also not forget that one can ride Lucky Nine or knows it better than Brett Prebble and one has to wonder if the horse will even allow anyone else to get on its back.
While Flemington now awaits Lucky Nine where he’ll meet Buffering again and probably start favorite, this incredible sprinter and that run on Friday night has given Hong Kong racing fans a sense of pride much like when it demolished its rivals in Singapore the same night The Zac Attack launched a Military Attack for owners Mr and Mrs Steven Lo.
While Military Attack is still somewhat of a new kid on the block, Lucky Nine seems to have been in Hong Kong for an eternity. Well, that’s the perception.
If James Brown was the hardest working man in showbusiness, then Lucky Nine must be the hardest working horse in racing and surely deserves some form of honor for service to Hong Kong racing above and beyond the call of duty- and bringing a sense of pride to this city.
Gawd knows with all the protests against this and that, Occupy Central, a Chief Executive all at sea and new daily charges of corruption within Government and big business, Hong Kong needs more than a damn good dose of pride and positive thinking.
Meanwhile, on the local racing front, if trainer Tony “Millie” Millard looked as if he had swallowed a turd after the last race last Wednesday night, it might have had to do with his newcomer to the stable- Super Jockey, the hot favorite- running a modest third.
The horse’s owners who were dressed to the nines looked as if they had swallowed the same turd as that winning photo opp never materialized.
More galling for Millard might have been watching Tai Sing Yeh, recently moved from his yard and back to Manfred Man after looking like his best days were behind him, easily accounting for every horse in that last race- and at the incredible odds of 18 to 1.
Still with “Millie”, it looks as if his partnership with The Zac Attack has fallen on a bed of nails.
After seemingly taking the jock’s decision to choose Military Attack over Ambitious Dragon in amicable fashion, the wrath of Millard has seen the jock lose a number of rides for the stable. Yes, The Grapes Of Wrath have a very sour side.
THE FAST TRACKER ON A SHATIN SUNDAY.
When John Moore says too much to the racing media about his horses’ chances in a Cup race, it really boggles the mind and ends up giving me the same brain freeze I had after reading a long piece of fawning puffery on one Bryon Constable, Chairman of the Shanghai Race Club, below, who is- wait- bringing racing to Mainland China. Whoops, I just nodded off.
As for Moore, he is not exactly Dopey and one has to think about what’s been said between the lines.
In the Oriental Watch Shatin Trophy, Moore has four runners with Military Attack and Dan Excel looking the stable elects- but are they?- whereas in the Premier Bowl, the champion trainer has six runner and with any one of them capable of winning.
Riding this Moore The Merrier group are Zac Purton on Frederick Engels, Dougie Whyte on Charles The Great, Weichong Marwing on Captain Sweet, Joao Moreira on Sterling City, Derek KC Leung on Straight Gold and Eddie WM Lai on Leading City.
One can only assume that the rides of Leung and Lai can be dropped as their horses are drawn out wide over the 1200 meters of the race.
Having said this, Eddie Lai is no slouch when riding in races over the sprint distances and just might be able to cross to the rails and play catch me if you can like the Leonardo DiCaprio movie of the same name.
And you think it’s tough to follow Chris Waller when he enters his armies of runners in NSW and, yes, that puff piece on Bryan Constable. Let’s show his picture again.
Elsewhere, tough barrier draws have gone against some good chances on the card whereas Dougie Whyte rides Luger for John Size- that’s it.
Then again, apart from this runner, I don’t think Size matters much on Sunday with just three runners entered.
The race where I can see turnover go through the roof is the last with big money coming in for at least four runners- and with each still capable of losing- which makes race ten as mind-boggling as that piece on Bryan Constable and his rather vague plans to bring horse racing to Mainland China.
Instead of a trio or quartet of “tips” and still recovering from the result of the Cox Plate and thinking of the flops of the well-fancied runners, the post-mortems still ringing in my ear and the tough run of Fiorente, as winning in racing is in the lap of the gods, below are a handful of horses I like for each race.
Race 3 is more scary than trainer Danny O’Brien celebrating after his Sham Award took out the Cox Plate for apprentice Chad Schofield.
It might not have been a popular result, but, hey, that’s not their problem, so congrats to all.
R1 MAN AND MING
R2 LUCKY DAY
R4 AMBER DRAGON
R6 SMART BALL
R7 STERLING CITY
R8 GOLD FUN
R9 WINNING LEADER
R10 SUPER LIFELINE / REWARDING HERO / TRUMP
THE FINDING HAPPY WEDNESDAY SIX UP
While Justin and Sarika are still searching for gorgeous vampires at the Beer Garden, Natalie has been working on her own six up in the midnight hour- and here it is- with her pinning her hopes on fellow Brazilian Joao Moreira in the last.
HARLOW DALI’S PICTURE TIPS FOR A SHATIN SUNDAY
SELECTIONS FROM THE BIG APPLE (@SW064351)
Race 4, No. 12 Heco Rider
Kept on despite racing three-wide without cover last start. Expect improvement.
Race 7, No. 4 Bullish Champion
Took no part in the National Day Cup when held up behind a tiring Penglai Xianzi. Can make amends.
Race 9, No. 1 Endowing
Well rated and has the class edge on these. Keep safe.
TODAY’S SELECTIONS FROM THE THIRD DIVIDEND
SHA TIN (HONG KONG)
Day Races @HKJC_Racing
Turf (“B+2” Course)
Weather: It will be fine. Dry during the day with a maximum temperature of about 26 degrees. Moderate to fresh easterly winds.
Race 1: Zenith Excellent Hcp CL5
1 – Magical Beam (3)
2 – Man And Ming (2)
3 – Cosmo One (13)
4 – Lucky Chevalier (11)
Race 2: Hublot Excellent Hcp CL4
1 – Lucky Day (6)
2 – Nightlign (13)
3 – Santa Fe Sun (3)
4 – Yat Ding Win (10)
Race 3: Blugari Excellent Hcp CL4
1 – Keen Tactics (2)
2 – Majestic Anthem (3)
3 – Soldier (8)
4 – Nicku (14)
Race 4: The Silver Lining Cup CL3
1 – Holmes Legend (4)
2 – Approve (9)
3 – Enthusiam (3)
4 – Apollo Cavalier (14)
Race 5: Carl F Bucherer Alacria Excellent Hcp CL4
1 – Luger (3)
2 – T-Bolt (7)
3 – Lucky Gains (9)
4 – Kynam (1)
Race 6: Franck Muller Thunderbolt Excellent Hcp CL3
1 – Fabulous November (5)
2 – Dynamic Voyage (9)
3 – Joyful The Great (6)
4 – Psychologist (10)
Race 7 (Q1): The Premier Bowl Hcp – HK Group 2 (Raced 95+)
1 – Sterling City (6)
2 – Frederick Engels (1)
3 – Charles The Great (5)
4 – California Bounty (9)
Race 8 (Q2): The Silver Lining Cup Hcp CL3
1 – Gold-Fun (6)
2 – Rainbow Chic (11)
3 – Military Attack (1)
4 – California Memory (2)
Race 9 (Q3): Piaget Altiplano Excellent Hcp CL2
1 – Winning Leader (2)
2 – Chater Dream (8)
3 – Eagle Power (13)
4 – Outdoor Pegasus (3)
Race 10 (Q4): H. Moser & CIE Excellent Hcp CL3
1 – Super Lifeline (4)
2 – Mr Gnocchi (2)
3 – Rewarding Hero (3)
4 – Glorious Sunday (9)
Race 8: Gold-Fun (6)
Race 5: Luger (3)
Race 3: Keen Tactics (2)
Race 8: California Memory (2)
Quaddie ($100 gets you 39%)