WILL HE STAY OR WILL HE GO?
The drums are beating loudly from- where else?- Oz that Joao Moreira will join the Godolphin stables, something we wrote about a few weeks ago saying the Brazilian had been offered the gig and how offers can be given, but not always taketh away.
Of course, Sheikh Mo is like Lola- and what Lola wants Lola gets. Sometimes.
Yes, it might be a lovely fairy tale for The Magic Man to take Dubai by storm on Saturday and then sign up with Sheikh Mo on Sunday when he starts another three day suspension in Hong Kong. But, let’s think about it.
From everything we know, rightly so, family comes first for Moreira, and his kids’ schooling in Hong Kong, has, apparently, been sorted out.
After leaving Swingabore and arriving here in October of last year, would Joao Moreira make another move, plus, where exactly will he fit in with Godolphin’s current roster of jockeys- Mikael Barzalona, Silvestre De Sousa and Ahmed Ajtebi?
Of course, we’re not Joao Moreira and whatever move he does or doesn’t make will always be the right one as far as he’s concerned- and which is all that really matters.
What we’re tipping is that Joao Moreira will take Dubai by storm on the world stage on the weekend, which will have those in Oz who would love to see Hong Kong racing fail with those Tom Pettys in their pockets bedazzled by the obvious bullshit, banging their heads against the nearest wall.
Thank gawd for Andrew Bensley, below, who, like Joe Friday in Dragnet, sticks to the facts, corrects us when we sometimes gets things wrong- professionally- and without resorting to hissy fit drivel by cub reporters- and is in a gentleman in a class of his own.
And if HKJC CEO Winfried Engelbrecht- Bresges also wins on Saturday with his stayer Now We Can which tackles 3200m for the first having won over 2900m in Chantilly by seven lengths, well, the banging of heads in NSW will get even Niki Lauda.
CHECKING IN ON THE KARIS HILTON.
Of course, much has been written about Joao Moreira and much more will be written about the brilliant Brazilian as he rides trebles, four-timers with such consummate ease that one has to wonder if he has magical powers and with a queue of trainers and owners with their Dickensian begging bowls wanting some of these powers to rub on their horses.
In all this Moreiramania, let’s not forget Mauritian Karis Teetan.
Before arriving in Hong Kong along with Irishman Colm O’Donoghue and Italian Neno Penna, he was an unproven commodity to the Hong Kong racing public who are unforgiving when new boys fail to deliver- fast.
Teetan did just that by winning with his first ride on the first race of this season- Amazing Always- for trainer “Darth” Ferraris, one of our favorite people despite us taking the piss outta the old boy with his wonderful head of hair and “Darth” moods.
As for Karis Teetan- “Teets”- like Chris So in the trainers ranks, he is the real find of this season- a very good rider, popular with trainers, owners, the racing media and racing fans- who has now ridden 31 wins and, watching his recent rides and win on Sunday aboard Divine Diya, the once unknown jockey is definitely destined for much bigger things. And we don’t mean a Big Mac.
NOT THE WOLF OF WALL STREET- BUT THE PEST OF SHATIN TRACK WORK.
What was once a chorus of disgruntled moans is now a chant that sounds like Bernard Hermann’s brilliant score to the movie Pycho about all the carrying on, not only on race days when his horse is running, but during trackwork by that owner- and notorious and shameless photo hogger in the winners circle- with the hair of multi-colored nightmares and racing legend in his own lunchtime.
Trust us, many racing fans have the same aversion to this “Looser”, but having this creep saunter around the trainers area during track work trying to eavesdrop on the conversations of others are not on in our books.
SUPER SUBORICS AND THE SUPER PLACE ROLL UP!
Great to see Andy Suborics winning on Why Not on Sunday- and with a very good ride.
One of the nicest blokes in the racing caper, Suborics had come third in the first three races on horses at huge odds- Success And Gold at $149.50, Just Mistere (63.50) and Ever Shiny ($166)- before Why Not won at $206 and paid $43 to place.
Yes, yes, a 4×1 place roll up on them would have paid very well- over $44,000 for $10.
No crying, please.
“MOSES” MOREIRA PARTS THE RED SEAS FOR STUNNING RIDE.
If you can, take a close look at Joao Moreira’s ride on Sunday aboard the John Moore-trained Kynam.
We’ve, of course, heard about The Magic Man tag, but this ride was like Moses parting the Red Seas.
Listening to Darren Flindell’s call of the race, one would have thought the horse had packed it up and gone home, but that would have been very wrong thinking.
After crossing from an outside barrier and looking to his right time and time again to ensure he was clear of other riders so he wouldn’t incur The Wrath Of Khan and the Stewards again which must put huge pressure on him- SHAZAM- he weaved his way through traffic and back-markers like Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher would have done in Formula One racing, -and- poof- there was “Moses” Moreira suddenly on the inside and driving Kynam home under hands and heels riding with cheeky arrogance. Incredible and one of the best rides we have seen in a very long time.
BIG KEV ROCKS!
Our old mate “Darth” Ferraris almost has a spring in his step and a smile on his face these days since the return to the HK Cricket Club Syndicate by one of the best friends anyone can have- barrister Kevin Egan, below.
For various reasons, Kev was asked to resign as a Member of the Syndicate known for its various Chater horses.
With him finally being vindicated, his return to the flock has seen Chater Dream win a Cup race and then, on Sunday, seen first-starter Chater Rock take out Race 1 at Shatin.
Though the first-starter pulled up lame, the injury is not serious though the horse will not run again this season.
Every cloud has a silver lining- and with the good vibes of Big Kev around- a top orthopedic surgeon from the UK just happened to be in Hongkers and who successfully operated on the good looking young sprinter.
The rest of the horses in that race?
Apart from Bullish Friend, pretty much rubbish and with Just Ace having SIX barrier trials making us question the wisdom of its trainer.
COULD ADRENALINE DO WITH MORE ADRENALIN?
Melbourne might have the laid-back Relaxed Racing, but Hong Kong has Adrenaline, the popular venue at Happy Valley Racecourse which offers a brilliant view of the races from its balcony, a brilliant buffet along with its exclusive IBU tables, banks of TV monitors, ‘live’ music, a compere, racing specialists, sometimes, some daft drinking games- what’s with HK and these drinking games where someone MUST hurl?- and a decent cross-section of customers. It’s a fun place.
What’s a little off-putting to regulars is to see some of the venue’s staff packing up with undue haste even before the last race has been run- the two bars being closed, some of the lights being switched off etc.
After the running of the last race and with some having to cash in their winning bets or wait somewhere- and it’s always the nearby bars- for the stampede to leave the racecourse or for their cars to arrive, or simply chill out with friends over drinks, couldn’t Adrenaline stay open for just another hour and have ‘live’ music a la MTV Unplugged without the usual stops and starts and caterwauling instead of showing replays of all the races- which is just more white noise- that no one watches.
We’re tipping a marketing move like this will bring in a customer base that has never stepped into Adrenaline and will also increase its coffers. Racing can be thirsty business.