(Courtesy of http://www.fasttrack.hk)
DIVINE CALLING OR DIVINE INTERVENTION OR JUST DIVINE?
The news that a Chinese businessman- and not anyone from Sun International as some seem to think- has bought the Gai Waterhouse-trained Divine Calling is another great boost to Hong Kong’s equine ranks along with three new purchases by John Size directly from David Moody.
At a cost of AUS$1.3m, it’s a sale of a galloper many thought would never happen and that co-owner Gerry Harvey would keep this very good three-year-old that will only hit its peak as a four and five year-old and when running over 1400-1600 metres.
But the decision to race it at Flemington yesterday in the Coolmore after the sale had been completed was baffling. Why risk it?
The fact that despite God riding Divine Calling- Glen Boss- and in the money- the horse put in a shocker and came in second last makes the decision to race it even more pertinent.
If you’re the new owner, what must be going through your mind?
It was a bizarre decision, a sad result and needing answers and not vague piffle.
As for Victoria Derby Day and the flop of Jet Away plus a number of favorites biting the dust, the sounds of bookmakers clicking their heels could be heard on the moon- especially after the last race was taken out by a 40 to 1 bolter.
Having said this, it was great to see Jimmy Cassidy win his 100th Group 1 race aboard Zoustar in the Coolmore- fantastic achievement. Well done, Pumper!
And what a fairytale story with the $4,000 purchase Polanski winning the Victoria Derby for Hugh Bowman- another win in this race for The Huge One and his weapon of mass destruction.
Not so brilliant was footage seen of the barrier draw event for the Melbourne Cup.
Good grief, it made Mainland Chinese attacking a Prada sale look positively polite and demure.
Always remember: Money can buy “love” but it cannot buy style nor class.
Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, having the eleven race card end with a very average dirt race- one of only two- on Sa Sa Ladies Purse Day truly is a bizarre- and dumb way- to end the day from a spectator and turnover point of view.
It makes the day end on a hollow note befitting an AWT mid-week meeting. Why anyone should stick around after race ten is beyond me- unless members of the Sean Woods Fan Club and hoping Free Judgement in the last provides him with a much-needed winner.
Someone goofed- and it’s not funny.
WORST GAMBLING MOVIE OF THE WEEK: RUNNER RUNNER
A really stupid and juvenile plot about the world of online poker starring Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake as the Sorcerer and Apprentice, respectively.
Cornball acting and a movie that will soon be available on DVD and can also be watched right now on any pirate website.
THE FAST TRACKER ON SUNDAY AT SHATIN
As most know by now, whenever Douglas Whyte rides the Sean Woods-trained Autumn Gold, a queasy feeling comes over me, I turn a whiter shade of pale like Procol Harum and have a bloody duff day at the races which has nothing to do with the poor horse. It’s just a personal superstitious thing like that Stevie Wonder song.
On Sunday, not only is Whyte riding Autumn Gold, but he’s riding it- yikes!- two pounds over on the day’s feature race- the Sa Sa Ladies Purse.
There was a time early on when Autumn Gold was a Derby hope and was said to be a horse with quite a bit of potential. But now, after so many disappointing runs, one has to wonder what’s next and if the leaves have fallen off the galloper.
Whyte has a good book of rides- Autumn Gold is not one of them- and with only one- Red Dancer which just might have two left feet- for half of the “dream team”- trainer John Size.
Interestingly, Size has turned to Joao Moreira for most of his runners and it remains to be seen if this partnership might become something more permanent.
The Magic Man managed to bring Size’s Turbo Jewelry alive for a close second placing from a bad barrier draw at Happy Valley recently- its best run in a very long time- and with owners queuing up to book the Brazilian for their horses and the Chinese racing media samba la bamba-ing the praises of the popular jockey, who is averaging a winner a meeting, one has to wonder if the astute trainer and horseman has also joined the fan club.
As for Whyte, he looks to have solid chances with first-starter Ah Bo (race 1), Bundle Of Joy and Berlinski, both for David Hall, Hayhay, and Southern Spring in one of two dirt races on the eleven race card.
It might be worth taking a place roll up on these horses and add No Ties, Clemente Spirit into it as The Durban Demon looks set to have a big day while Perth awaits his arrival for their big Ascot Super Saturday meeting.
On a different note, the HKJC really MUST find a better way of informing punters about these “mixed” meeting before they become “mixed up meetings” and the peasants storm le Bastille thinking something has been sneaked in without their knowledge.
Having this information at the top of the card or on the website and mentioned in passing by the Three Amigos won’t do. It’s preaching to a tiny group of converts.
As for the Sa Sa Ladies Purse, Blazing Speed, Rainbow Chic and Mizani look to be the obvious winning chances, but lurking at the bottom of the weights is John Moore’s third runner in the race- Ashkiyr with Magic Moreira up- and Colm O’Donoghue, below, back from a suspension, and actually on a horse with an outside winning chance- Winning Leader.
Still with Sa Sa, be prepared to be rocked by plenty of eye candy as Thomas and Eleanor Kwok, who run the very successful cosmetics brand, bring their usual bevy of beauties to the races which always include some Group 1 fillies from Mainland China and Eastern Europe as part of their fashion parade. Sa Sa is not so so when it splurges on this annual Ladies Day.
Having done the form over the years and knowing that the speed maps and track conditions never change each year, get to the Sa Sa pre-race party.
Someone known to many out here actually has special name cards printed, one to get in and others having him as an “Honorary Consultant” to Lithuania/the Ukraine/Slovakia and the Czech Republic etc- and with the flags of each country. The name cards work.
If no time for producing fake name cards, with the right lines thrown in as bait, the odds of reeling in one of the Eastern European models and hooking up with them at the Blue Bar of the Four Seasons after the races are pretty high.
Just don’t expect them to join you on the bus or the MTR with the rest of the herd going back to Hong Kong side. Splurge and order a chauffer-driven Roller for a day. The returns could be great.
Apart from ending on a bum note, the card is a good one and I’ll be working my bets on the following.
Race 1: AH BO/SPEEDY SANDY
Race 2: AFRICA LIGHT/FLYING SUPREME/NO TIES
Tough race and no idea why Zac Purton is not on Africa Light which he has worked and trialled.
Race 3: HEY CHEERS
Race 4: HAYHAY/LET ME GO
Race 5: SOUTHERN SPRINGS
Race 6: FORZA
(Dirt race so who really knows?)
Race 7: BUNDLE OF JOY
(Only dangers are Roman Legend, Triumphant Jewel and Access Years.)
Race 8: AMBASSADORSHIP
Race 9: BERLINSKI
Race 10: BLAZING SPEED/MIZANI
(Hmmm, a bit of a punt with Mizani having just got over from some minor setback and Willie Cazals having been withdrawn with a slight tendon injury.)
Race 11: FREE JUDGEMENT/LET ME HANDLE IT
(Surely, this is the race where Sean Woods breaks his barren spell with a win by Free Judgement?)
Strange to see that Whyte has no ride in the race and an uncharacteristic weak ending to the card with a very average dirt race??? All rather spooky, possums.
BEST BET: RACE 1: AH BO(5)
RACE 3: HEY CHEERS (1)
NEXT BEST: RACE 9: BERLINSKI (4)
LONGSHOT: RACE 5: REALLY THE BEST (12)
SARIKA’S SIX UP AND QUADDIE
Hi, and right away, let me say that I like today’s card as there seem to be some standouts.
Remember, you can win the six up bonus by picking all six winners in the designated races and the six up consolation even if your horses come second. So, here goes.
For those in Australia who but the Quaddie, here are my suggestions.
Good luck to everyone!
RACE 8- 6-7-8-11
RACE 9- 4-6-11
RACE 10- 1-7-14
RACE 11- 1-2-4-13
SELECTIONS FROM THE BIG APPLE (@SW064351)
Race 10, No. 8 Endowing
Found the line strongly after taking a while to fully wind up first-up. Strips fitter and looks the main danger on best form.
Race 8, No. 7 Wayfoong Express
Resumes after a gelding operation during the off-season. Has trialled well and should go close.
Race 11, No. 9 Kabayan
Gai Waterhouse import who has done little since arriving but has worked a lot better since. Is down in the weights and has each-way claims.
TODAY’S SELECTIONS FROM THE THIRD DIVIDEND
Weather: Here is the latest Tropical Cyclone Bulletin issued by the Hong Kong Observatory. The Standby Signal, No. 1 is in force. This means that a tropical cyclone now centred within about 800 kilometres of Hong Kong may affect us.
Race 1: Koji CL4 Hcp
1 – Ah Bo (5)
2 – Speedy Sandy (4)
3 – Fire Starter (9)
4 – Excel Oneself (14)
Race 2: L’Oreal Paris CL5 Hcp
1 – Gorgeous Life (6)
2 – Just Good (10)
3 – Flying Supreme (9)
4 – Spectacular Territory (13)
Race 3: Revlon CL5 Hcp
1 – Isyllic Wind (9)
2 – Hey Cheers (1)
3 – All My Kingdoms (14)
4 – (2)
Race 4: Suisse Programme CL4 Hcp
1 – Let Me Go (11)
2 – Dragon Glory (1)
3 – Power Cool (12)
4 – Dashing Fortune (13)
Race 5: Elizabeth Arden CL4 Hcp
1 – Southern Springs (11)
2 – Kissmet (9)
3 – Jack’s Gem (6)
4 – Young Warrior (13)
Race 6: Hadatuko CL4 Hcp
1 – Palepale (9)
2 – Multiexpress (6)
3 – Dehere’s The Love (10)
4 – Expedite (3)
Race 7: Soin D’Eau CL3 Hcp
1 – Roman Legend (9)
2 – Triumphant Jewel (10)
3 – Bundle Of Joy (5)
4 – Grimmy (8)
Race 8 (Q1): Kate CL3 Hcp
1 – Ambassadorship (8)
2 – Red Dancer (1)
3 – Jolly Victor (4)
4 – Todos Con Suerte (5)
Race 9 (Q2): Ctber Colors CL3 Hcp
1 – Berlinski (4)
2 – Boy Oh Boy (11)
3 – Both Sure (6)
4 – Exciting Dream (1)
Race 10 (Q3): The Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse
1 – Blazing Speed (1)
2 – Endowing (8)
3 – Same World (3)
4 – Winning Leader (6)
Race 11 (Q4): Banila Co CL2 Hcp
1 – Winnie’s Horse (13)
2 – Eagle Power (10)
3 – Mr Medici (7)
4 – Free Judgement (1)
Race 8: Ambassadorship (8)
Race 11: Winnie’s Horse (13)
Race 2: Gorgeous Life (6)
Race 5: Young Warrior (13)
Quaddie ($100 gets you 39%)