(Courtesy of http://www.fasttrack.hk)
After last Wednesday’s International Jockeys Championship and Sunday’s International Races, whatever happens next is a very tough act to follow. But follow it must ‘cos if not, we might as well pack up and go off to some island off Bali with a Norwegian Girl Friday.
The USP tonight is the return of Joao Moreira after quite a lengthy suspension on various careless riding charges which saw the talented Brazilian miss International Week.
Then again, with Chief Steward Kim Kelly and his posse having a field day during that week with some rather odd decisions, perhaps it was best that The Magic Man was home practicing his Indian rope trick- and keeping outta harm’s way.
Still, we have to wonder what he might have ridden on Sunday if he had a Get Out Of Jail Free Card.
While, we ponder this just for a lark, there are a few red flags being waved whenever his name is mentioned- that he cannot get used to riding in this “opposite direction” compared to Singapore, that his family prefers the lifestyle back in the Lion City and how the odds of him going the distance in Hong Kong are a tad wooly.
Still, Moreira has seven rides in the eight-race card and with Super Team (Race 1), Owners Glory (Race 4), Step Faster (Race 7) and Classic Jewellery looking the best- no real standouts, but the entire meeting looks a pretty tough one to sort out any bankers though some horses are well under the odds.
As for those who have mentioned that Zac Purton and Douglas Whyte will be “taking it easy” after their highs of Sunday, uh uh as horse racing is their livelihood and they ride to win. Every racing day.
Meanwhile, the complexities and politics of racing in Hong Kong- and Australasia- are rife these days with some in the game involved in dirty tricks, many walking on eggshells and others, on the periphery, just damned tired of feeling they’re back in school and being picked on by bully boy prefects and headmasters with grudges.
It gets bloody boring -and, to those with options- it’s not worth tolerating the constant aggravation, watching out for daggers in one’s back and seeing the blinkered thinking from those in an industry that is still the Rodney Dangerfield of sports.
Someone better fix this malaise and downbeat dose of International bad vibes- fast- as, suddenly, horse racing is, again, starting to look extremely hardcore, brittle and boring as hell to that next generation of race-goer spoilt for choice.
As that poet BB King might wail, The Thrill Is Gone, tiddlywinks.
Meanwhile, to add to the gloom, the weather today is looking miserable and pollution adding to the misery, who knows if it will be a version of Come Rain Or Come Shine when the barriers to that first race opens.
And so, with absolutely no confidence- why lie?- and a date this afternoon to meet up with a great mate in the legendary Felix Coetzee, here goes nothing for tonight at Happy Valley.
R1 CASA JUNIOR/SUPER TEAM/JUN HAO/VIVA GUY
As said before Sunday’s meeting, Eddie Lai CAN deliver and as tipped, he gave 100 to 1 pop Fat Choy Hong Kong- ridiculous odds- a damn good ride to finish a close fourth.
Fast Eddie and trainer Gary Ng combine well and, despite a wide barrier, Casa Junior should at least run a place with Jun Hao and Viva Guy finishing in front of him- though the latter will be way under the odds.
R2 BILLION GAINS
To many females, Brett Prebble wears the best cologne, and has the bluest eyes.
I just think he could score here- and in race 1 and, perhaps, race 4.
R3 CHINA DELIGHT/GOLDEN SCALPEL
China Delight WILL win this- come rain or come shine.
R4 DRAGON PINS/OWNERS GLORY/BETTER ANNOUNCE
Another win for Mo Mo Angland, the King Arthur of Hong Kong racing, who is growing a moustache and beard for charity?
Possibly, but keep an eye out on Better Announce with Pepe Le Prebble aboard.
R5 SIGHT BELIEVER/THE PRINCE
Could be yet another Purton/Angland quinella and, perhaps even another photo finish.
R6 GREAT PEGASUS/DEMON DEMON
Could be the further adventures of the blossoming Zac and Dougie bromance.
R7 STEP FASTER/ATACK/MY NAME IS BOND
Okay, the owner can’t spell, but Atack’s last win was impressive, it goes well for Neil Callan and trainer John Moore is on an incredible roll though he seems to save these drum rolls for the really big days like Sunday’s International Races which he dominated.
Having said all this, my feeling is that the Atack will be repelled by My Name Is Bond and Step Faster.
My Name Is Bond looks close to a win and The Zac Attack is riding with a Goldfinger and massive Thunderballs.
R8 SUPREME ESSENCE/TRUMP/ROYAL PARTNER/CLASSIC JEWELLERY
Mosse jumps aboard Trump and let’s just try and forgive the Frenchman for his ride on Red Cadeaux on Sunday where he was four wide and seemed to be heading to L’ McDonald’s for some pommes de frites.
Box this quartet and I’m pretty sure you’ll snare the quinella. If not, join McMosse and his McDonaldland friends for a McHappy Meal.
BEST BET: RACE 4- CHINA DELIGHT (12)
NEXT BET: RACE 7- STEP FASTER (10)
LONGSHOT: RACE 1- JUN HAO (2)
SELECTIONS FROM THE BIG APPLE (@SW064351)
Race 7, No. 2 My Name Is Bond
Ran home well from a long way back when Hawthorne had things his way. Can break maiden.
Race 5, No. 9 Sight Believer
Turned in a cracking run three weeks ago. The one to beat.
Race 8, No. 1 Jolly Fine
Drops in grade here and very consistent at this trip. Keep safe.
SELECTIONS FOR HAPPY VALLEY FROM THE THIRD DIVIDEND
Happy Valley (HONG KONG)
#HValley Night Races @HKJC_Racing
Weather: Mainly cloudy and hazy. It willbe dry. Bright periods in the afternoon. Moderate east to northeasterly winds,occasionally fresh offshore.
Race 1: D’AGUILAR PEAK CL5 HCP
1 – Viva Guy (4) $2.8
2 – Casa Junior (7)
3 – Super Team (3)
4 – Jun Hao (2)
Race 2: MOUNT BUTLER CL5 HCP
1 – Dark Secret (7) $6.5
2 – Starlit Warrior (10)
3 – Yuan’s Fortune (3)
4 – Supreme Tycoon (5)
Race 3: MOUNT CAMERON CL4 HCP
1 – China Delight (12) $2.0
2 – Golden Scalpel (1)
3 – Travel Smart (10)
4 – Danesouth (11)
Race 4: MOUNT GOUGH CL4 HCP
1 – Owners’ Glory (8) $4.1
2 – Better Announce (2)
3 – Dragon Pins (4)
4 – Malayan Pearl (5)
Race 5 (Q1): NOM LONG SHAN CL3 HCP
1 – Sight Believer (9) $3.1
2 – The Prince (1)
3 – Eastern Promise (6)
4 – Super Fresh (2)
Race 6 (Q2): POTTINGER PEAK CL4 HCP
1 – Demon Demon (2) $4.5
2 – Domineer (1)
3 – Joy Together (4)
4 – Great Pegasus (8)
Race 7 (Q3): ACADEMY OF MEDICINE CL3 HCP
1 – Step Faster (10) $1.6
2 – My Name Is Bond (2)
3 – Atacx (3)
4 – Turf Magic (1)
Race 8 (Q4): SHOUSON HIOLL CL3 HCP
1 – Supreme Essence (6) $2.6
2 – Royal Partner (9)
3 – Classic Jewellery (3)
4 – Trump (7)
Race 3: China Delight (12)
Race 4: Owners’ Glory (8)
Race 2: Dark Secret (7)
Race 3: Danesouth (11)
Quaddie ($100 gets you 39%)