(Courtesy of http://www.fasttrack.hk)
WALLY PYRAH IS…EMINEM?
STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH
The number of suspensions handed down in Hong Kong this season might be less, but the severity of them is much harsher- look at the timing of the suspensions for Joao Moreira and Karis Teetan, both of whom miss International Day- and, in a kinda weird way, is racing’s answer to quality not quantity.
After Wednesday night’s racing, there was talk, especially in social media which is becoming increasingly important to understand how restless the natives are becoming, about rides where horses were “slaughtered” and that others were “dead.”
Frankly, “slaughtered” and “dead” often comes down to a bad ride where brain freeze happens like that well-known ride by Luke Nolen on Black Caviar at Ascot a few years ago.
Fortunately for Nolen, the great horse won the race for him. Had it not, Luke Nolen could be riding in Singapore or, worse, Macau.
Having spoken to a number of riders- not the armchair ones- who were doing the hard work on the C+3 Course at Happy Valley, those first few races always provide them with an idea as to how the track might ride.
Usually a leader’s track, last Wednesday’s track rode very fairly as seen by the all the way win of Hawthorne, then that incredible run by Golden Harvest, below, which, despite running into around four road blocks as a mad charge was going on in the front to undo Sichuan Charm- the tactic worked- came coasting down the outside to register a remarkable win.
So, the human factor and that element of fine motor skills going wrong like Mr Bean in a traffic jam have to be taken into consideration before riders are bagged.
However, as local jockeys Jacky Tong and, most recently, Ben So have found out, rides deemed to be those where there has been a lack of much, er, vigor to give their horses the best possible chances in a race, won’t be tolerated.
Tong got slapped with an eight meeting ban for his ride on the Aaron Kwok-owned and Caspar Fownes-trained Calling With Love, which ran when the trainer was in Melbourne with Lucky Nine whereas Ben So got a whopping sixteen meeting for his ride on Team Work, trained by Me Tsui.
Jacky Tong has been a hard-working jockey who was once even considered a “good local jockey”- but that was many moons ago and when flares were in vogue.
This season, he’s struggling for survival- a good kid overall who might be doing the best he can, but which just isn’t good enough.
Ben So is a different kettle of halibut. Once a highly promising apprentice indentured to the yard of Peter Ho, the SoHo combination were a success and the apprentice was also used by trainers like David Hall on front-runners and he seldom let the various teams- and some huge plunges- down.
Let’s never forget the enormous plunge on the Hall-trained and So-ridden Berio a few seasons ago which was backed from 14s to 4s and brought home the bacon for mama with an all-the-way win.
This season, Ben So has been finding support tough. It’s almost as if he has the plague. And so, So’s sixteen meeting ban- the most severe since Craig Williams’ similar ban on the same charges- is a very strong message from Chief Steward Kim Kelly aka Eliot Ness and his posse of Untouchables to the local jockey- and others who might be found guilty of giving horses easy runs: We are watching you and it won’t be tolerated.
Neither will endangering the safety of others during a race by riding like drunken cowboys after a bank robbery.
How this is translated by trainers and if they will want to risk using the services of So to drop horses in the handicaps etc needs to be seen along with wondering if, perhaps, jockeys riding to instructions, should cop all the blame.
Of course, a trainer being suspended will create havoc as an entire stable is at stake- though they can’t just leave the building with Elvis after “giving evidence” either.
Whether fines- massive fines- should come into calculations as jockeys and trainers- plus owners- are part of, well planned team work, is something that now has tongues wagging- and, perhaps, for good reason.
CHIN UP AND DOWN UNDER.
Australia will soon see jockey Stanley Chin in action, courtesy of big-spending Sun International.
The once talented Hong Kong-based jockey who had a fall from grace which saw him land in the clink, has been riding in Macau for almost a decade and will now also have the key role in finding equine talent for the Macau-based casino conglomerate- a role that quite a few in Oz, NZ and Hong Kong were falling over each other to get their hands on.
After all, the cash-rich people behind Sun have moved into the Australian racing industry in a very big way with its purchase of Eliza Park and big-spending forays into the purchase of horses.
Chin, after a number of suspensions, apparently unfairly targeted at him, had enough and threw his riding license at those strange people running the equally strange Macau Jockey Club which plods along like a horse with no name.
We wish him well as the Sun rises for him elsewhere.
TIPS FROM THE BIG APPLE.
When no less a mortal than Glen Boss writes in to sing the praises of our man in The Big Apple after his longshot Hawthorne got up at 13 to 1 in Oz on Wednesday, well that means something.
After all, Bossy only lavishes praise on himself. And hey, why not blow one’s own trumpet? This is why we’re more than happy to sing the praises of our own man from the Big Apple who struts his stuff- and not copies of everyone else’s- in our very own Garden Of Eden.
Race 4, No. 6 Fabulous November
Brave in defeat when caught late by Glorious Sunday. Form down straight last term was solid. Right in this.
Race 10, No. 10 Sichuan Exec
Won going away last start despite racing wide throughout. Drawn well and can repeat the dose.
Race 7, No. 4 Peri Peri Saffron
Can really hit the line if ridden cold. Each-way.
SUGGESTIONS FOR SHATIN BY THE FAST TRACKER.
R1 FANTASTIC KAKA/FIRESTARTER
Kinda crappy to back a horse with kaka in its name- and then call it FANTASTIC Kaka- so will just take it easy and blow some smoke up someone’s arse than waste my time on this race.
R2 ROCKET PROUD/DIAMOND ANGEL/DAILY DOUBLE
This could be a healthy boxed quinella
R3 DHERE’S THE LOVE/FORZA
Both should go very close.
R4 BRAVENESS/ACCESS YEARS/DIVINE TEN
Being drawn on the wrong side for this 1000 metre race at Shatin, probably killed off another Purton/Angland quinella. Or dead-heat.
R5 SUISSE D’OR/SPICY SIAM/ALL MY KINGDOMS/GOLD TARTINI
This could be another Purton/Angland quinella with All My Kingdoms and Gold Tartini looking worthy longshots.
R6 PERFECT JOY
Chris So and Tye Angland are becoming the Dennis Yip and Zac Purton of this season and can combine for another winner with Perfect Joy.
Place chances? Follow The Wind, The Only Kid- despite a very ordinaire run for Le Mosse last time out while I always get the willies when seeing Ben So on a David Hall runner such as Tarrega.
R7 BRIGHT STAR/JUN JU/DASHING FORTUNE
Though I remain lukewarm to Benno Yung’s training abilities- someone please get Benno some decent clothes- having Tye Angland legged aboard Bright Star gives me some hope that the horse might do finally do something.
Angland either takes over from a dumped Weichong Marwing or else McMarwing has jumped ship and landed on Street Cat. I think the former.
Others with chances: Not many. Perhaps Jun Ju and Eternal Games while The Zac Attack takes over on jinx horse Good Hong Kong, owned by the moronic fung shui fixated owner John “Good Ba Ba” Yuen.
R8 HYPERSONIC/DANEWIN TIGER/TURIN PEARL
With Dougie Whyte in Japan for the Super Jockey Series, new bon ami Brett Prebble takes over on the John Size-trained Hypersonic whereas Angland should be to the fore again on Danewin Tiger. Bould Mover with Rispoli up is an interesting runner which, like Chauncey Gardiner, I would rather watch.
R9 LORD SINCLAIR/SUPREME FALCON/RUMBA KING
So many dirt specialists here that any could win without surprising. After getting some weight relief following “gentle” runs on the turf, Rumba King and Sam The Tailor’s Green Zone, below, take their rightful places on their favorite kind of track.
R10 SICHUAN EXEC/KING OF HOUSEHOLD
While Zac Purton has his sights set on setting a new record for the most number of wins by a jockey in a season, John Size seems determined to do the same in the trainers ranks. Sichuan Exec can add to his tally ho.
Whatever you do, KEEP FOLLOWING King Of Household despite the pompous ass name.
R11 Not really saying much to end the card on another dirt race, but something’s got to win.
What, I don’t know. Absolutely nada idea.
Am as outta it as “Highgella” Lawson.
BEST BET: Race 6: PERFECT JOY(8)
NEXT BEST: Race 4: BRAVENESS (7)
LONGSHOT: RACE 10: KING OF HOUSEHOLD (9)
SUGGESTED SIX UP
TODAY’S SELECTIONS FROM THE THIRD DIVIDEND
SHA TIN (HKG)
Day Races @HKJC_Racing
Mixed – Turf (“C+3” Course)/AWT
Weather: Fine. Very dry during the day. Moderate north to northeasterly winds.
Race 1: Ashley Rst C4
1 – Fantastic Kaka (1)
2 – Grand Plus (8)
3 – Fire Starter (6)
4 – Investar Win (9)
Race 2: Cameron CL5
1 – Diamond Angel (6)
2 – Just Mistere (1)
3 – Solar Boy (3)
4 – Daily Double (11)
Race 3: Carnarvon CL4 Hcp
1 – Dehere’s The Love (1)
2 – Forza(2)
3 – Maroon Prince (4)
4 – Thunder Flyer (9)
Race 4: Granville CL3 Hcp
1 – Divine Ten (13)
2 – Access Flyer (5)
3 – Fabulous November (6)
4 – Braveness (7)
Race 5: Hankow CL5 Hcp
1 – All My Kingdoms (12)
2 – Suisse D’Or (2)
3 – Namjong Turbo (7)
4 – Super Brand (3)
Race 6: Middle CL4 Hcp
1 – Perfect Joy (8)
2 – Follow The Wind (1)
3 – Ready To Celebrate (7)
4 – Healthy Blueberry (9)
Race 7: Mody CL4 Hcp
1 – Dashing Fortune (7)
2 – Jun Ju (5)
3 – Bright Star (6)
4 – Country Charm (1)
Race 8 (Q1): The Chinese General COC
1 – Danewin Tiger (6)
2 – Turin Pearl (7)
3 – All Friends (4)
4 – Slick Bullet (3)
Race 9 (Q2): Golden Jubilee Challenge
1 – Lord Sinclair (6)
2 – Silver Grecian (1)
3 – Green Zone (11)
4 – Beauty Sparkle (2)
Race 10 (Q3): Nathan CL3 Hcp
1 – Super Lifeline (4)
2 – Dragon Fighter (3)
3 – King Of Household (9)
4 – Exciting Dream (1)
Race 11 (Q4): Salisbury CL3 Hcp
1 – I Smell Money (11)
2 – Smiling Watch (7)
3 – Great Sky (9)
4 – Racing Hero (1)
Race 3: Dehere’s The Love (1)
Race 6: Perfect Joy (8)
Race 5: All My Kingdoms (12)
Race 11: I Smell Money (11)
Quaddie ($100 gets you 39%)