(Courtesy of http://www.fasttrack.hk)
We’ve said it before and, like a broken record, we’ll say it again: The music and racing industries are spookily similar.
On the negative side, both suffer from either inheriting, hiring or promoting the wrong people while most in the racing and music media have their heads buried in the sand whereas from a talent point of view, there is always a Use By date attached to the bottom line.
Some might think the latter to be pretty ruthless, but both industries are million dollar businesses- not little hobbies for a very vocal, but powerless few- and with each needing new marquee value names as consumers demand change when one-time popular drawcards start to lose their fan bases- and age like Whatever Happened To Baby
This leads us to Joao Moreira being given an offer he couldn’t refuse to move to Hong Kong.
It was a brilliant business and marketing coup at a time when the HKJC riding ranks needed a boost and The Durban Demon-Zac Attack duel had run its course.
So, just as when Mariah or Celine had run their courses or The Bieb today faces what every young artist fears- growing up- and music companies need new talent, so it was with the HKJC.
When this happens, the new talent becomes a “priority act” and a hot property- important to wagering, certainly, but wagering with added spice and, now, an enthralling three-or even five-ringed circus every race meeting- barring suspensions. Competition forces everyone to raise their games.
What the HKJC has right now is its own production of The Good, The Bad And The Ugly with Dougie Whyte in the role of Sheriff Pat Garrett with Bob Dylan moaning in the background, “Mama, take this badge off of me”.
There’s Zac Purton as Billy The Kid- cocky, a straight shooter, lethal and unpredictable- and Joao Moreira as something like the Cisco Kid- without the Village People outfits- the smiling Brazilian assassin whose entire being is to win at all costs.
“Sorry, Monsieur Ollie, if I completely poleaxed you in race 4 on Wednesday, but merde happens as I am on a mission to get past that winning post first” could be The Magic Man’s ethos and, frankly, which is what local punters, racing, owners and trainers care about.
There’s no time for, “Excuse me, old chap, but I need you to let me through for a teeny weensy second.”
It’s more like Braveheart charging at the enemy and courtesies be damned. It’s competitive racing which, at times, might go South of the border with Cisco and Pancho, but, hey, it’s livened things up. It’s like moving from Mariah to Rihanna.
This mission to win is why Moreira has had a full book of rides since his arrival and, possibly, a Get Out Of Jail Free card.
He is the main attraction and kinda like the Enrique Iglesias of racing in Hong Kong while making some of the other riders look more like Julio Iglesias- old and weary and barely remembering all the girls they’ve loved before.
As a mate in Melbourne so succinctly put it, “Moreira is sexy.” And sex sells in any industry.
So, what we have here is a true reality series owned by the HKJC and far more interesting than Keeping Up With The Kardashians or American Idol.
It has more very real plots, sub-plots, twists and turns, more cat fights than Krystal and Alexis Carrington and cameo appearances by a cast of characters including owners and trainers- the latter being racing’s answer to the music industry’s big name record producers.
The only thing missing is a music track to this horse opera and here might we suggest the entire Queen album, appropriately enough called A Day At The Races?
WHEN A COWARD STRUCK AT FLEMINGTON.
The incident below marred Oaks Day at Flemington this week when a male employee with Darley managed to slither past security and whack his ex-girlfriend- a strapper- and known to be a very sweet girl.
The girlie-man then tried to escape on his motorbike before being tackled- and arrested- and, no doubt, sacked by Darley.
The young girl suffered minor bruising on her face and here’s hoping the douche bag bends over in prison to grab a cake of soap and gets what he deserves. Over and over and over again.
WRITE A CAPTION FOR THE PHOTO BELOW AND IF ANY GOOD, MEET SARIKA AT ADRENALINE DURING HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL WEEK.
THE FAST TRACKER AND SATURDAY AT SHATIN.
Apart from getting close to some real fashionistas as Fashion Styles The Valley got under way on Wednesday, seldom have we seen so many close finishes on one race card- five in all including one dead-heat- and which had many who only recently have become full-time followers of the sport oohing and aahing as they had never seen such competitive racing.
With Douglas Whyte somewhere in Phuket taking an enforced break and climbing coconut trees with wife Nikki and running down the beach- naked and with his hair in cornrows like Bo Derek in “10”- Joao Moreira, with another full book of rides, will do battle again with Zac Purton, Olivier Doleuze, Tye Angland- a big chance to take out the Jockeys Challenge at good odds- Matty Chadwick, Karis Teetan and others like Umberto Rispoli who has returned to Hong Kong with very little fanfare lurking in the background.
(Dougie Whyte in Phuket)
What’s interesting about Moreira’s rides are the first starters he’s on for two of the most powerful stables in Hong Kong- Transformer for John Moore and Omotesando for John Size.
If he wins on them, the odds of him retaining the rides must surely be high. Why reinvent the wheel- and the jockey?
There are, in fact, a number of horses making their debuts today.
Caspar Fownes has Vanilla which raced as Philippi when trained by Mick Kent and came second to It’s A Dundeel in the Australian Derby. It’s attracting plenty of attention, but I’m really unsure of this purchase unless it strikes a track with plenty of give. Plus, if there was still an upside to Philippi, owner Mick Jamieson, who bred Black Caviar, would surely have hung onto it? Perhaps, ol’ Money Bags was feeling generous…
Meanwhile, John Size unveils the Dumb And Dumber-sounding Silly Buddies for the first time, Ricky Yiu shows off newcomer Furio, and Tony Cruz and- oh dear- Sean Woods have new ones in Harbour Delight and Imperial Concorde, respectively.
Fingers crossed, Imperial Concorde is better than Autumn Gold and gives Woods a winner- his first for the season.
I still wait for the day when a horse is named Diu Lay, manages to have the name approved and has the local masses screaming out its name, something saved these days for Hong Kong’s Teflon Man and Chief Executive.
As for today’s card, it’s a helluva tough one with quite a few dirt specialists being entered, no doubt to get a drop in the ratings- way too obvious and something that should not be tolerated- and I can see the Triple Trio and Six Up not being won.
What will I do? Watch the ‘live’ broadcast on ATV and see if there are any more cock-ups, have a few bets based on the suggestions below and wonder if The Magic Man takes any new rabbits from his hat or comes up with some Indian rope tricks.
R1 BERNARD’S CHOICE/COSMO ONE
Anything could win. Really mediocre horses or horses past their prime.
R2 TELECOM TOP STAR
Alvin Ng’s weight allowance should help it crack the string of second placings.
R4 LUCKY DAY/DEMON DEMON
Should run the quinella.
R5 ACTIVISM/BAMBOO DANCE/HEY CHEERS/DANESOUTH
Kinda like Danesouth.
R6 BRIGHT STAR/MEDIC SWORDSMAN/FLORAL MAN
R7 LONGWAH SUPREME/AEROVOLICITY
Tough race but Chris So would know all about Longwah Supreme from his days with Caspar Fownes.
R8 WAH MAY STAR/FLAGSHIP SHINE
Confusing race but for an upset, Wah May Star. First start for Tony Cruz who has taken off the blinkers and added a tongue tie- not to himself- but the horse.
R9 KINGS PACT/GREEN MANNER/KING OF PATCH
One of these should win.
R10 SICHUAN VIGOUR/JUN GONG/SUPREME FALCON
Box these. It really should be the quinella.
BEST BET: RACE 4 LUCKY DAY (3)
NEXT BEST: RACE 10: SICHUAN VIGOUR (3)
LONGSHOT: RACE 8: WAH MAY STAR (10)
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
SARIKA’S SIX UP AND QUADDIE
SELECTIONS FROM THE BIG APPLE (@SW064351)
Race 8, No. 3 Flash Knight
Resuming from a spell after bleeding in February. Fitness a slight concern but will be attacking the line late. Each-way appeal.
Race 7, No. 1 Longwah Supreme
Entitled to finish closer last time with a better trip. Give another chance.
Race 10, No. 7 Gallant Triumph
Lightly raced gelding who has run consistently at the distance. Worth some thought.
TODAY’S SELECTIONS FROM THE THIRD DIVIDEND
SHA TIN (HONG KONG)
Day Races @HKJC_Racing
Turf (“A” Course)
Weather: Mainly fine apart from relatively low visibility in some areas at first. Becoming cloudy during the day. Temperatures will range between 23 and 27 degrees. Moderate to fresh easterly winds.
Race 1: Panasonic Lounger CL5 Hcp
1 – Friends Of Yan Oi (5)
2 – Bernard’s Choice (7)
3 – Young Supreme (6)
4 – Cosmo One (10)
Race 2: Panasonic IH Warm Jar CL5
1 – Telecom Top Star (1)
2 – Amazing Always (4)
3 – Solar Boy (3)
4 – Money Win Wins (13)
Race 3: Panasonic Bread Maker CL4 Hcp
1 – Fantastico (3)
2 – K-Moochi (5)
3 – Transformer (8)
4 – Fay Deep (9)
Race 4: Panasonic Viera IDTV CL4 Hcp
1 – Lucky Day (3)
2 – Brave Brother (6)
3 – Demon Demon (4)
4 – Graceful Kingdom (8)
Race 5: Shun Hing 60th Anniversary CL4 Hcp
1 – Hey Cheers (8)
2 – Activism (6)
3 – Super Strike (1)
4 – Danesouth (12)
Race 6: Panasonic Lumix Digital CL4 Hcp
1 – Medic Swordsman (9)
2 – Good Hong Kong (8)
3 – Bright Star (4)
4 – Peri Peri Saffron (3)
Race 7 (Q1): Panasonic I-PRO Network CL3 Hcp
1 – Aerovelocity (4)
2 – Laugh Out Loud (11)
3 – Longwah Supreme (1)
4 – Jaeger Bomb (8)
Race 8 (Q2): The Panasonic Cup CL1 Hcp
1 – Flagship Shine (1)
2 – Solar Great (2)
3 – Noble Alpha (4)
4 – Majestic Falcon (5)
Race 9 (Q3): Panasonic Toughbook CL3 Hcp
1 – King’s Pact (2)
2 – Little Men (3)
3 – Enthusiasm (10)
4 – Green Manner (7)
Race 10 (Q4): Panasonic Lamdash Shaver CL3 Hcp
1 – Supreme Falcon (5)
2 – Sichuan Vigour (4)
3 – Jun Gong (2)
4 – Green Zone (1)
Race 4: Lucky Day (3)
Race 8: Flagship Shine (1)
Race 7: Aerovelocity (4)
Race 10: Green Zone (1)
Quaddie ($100 gets you 39%)