(Courtesy of http://www.fasttrack.hk)
When Douglas Whyte rode a double at Shatin on Easter Monday and took out the Jockey Challenge, it brought up seven wins for him in the past four race meetings- and, hey, presto- the thirteen-time Champion jockey is now “only” 18 winners behind championship leader Zac Purton.
It’s all building towards what could be a very enthralling and marketable drawcard by the HKJC for local punters in a city where jockeys are treated like Rock stars.
Of course, ask Whyte if he has aspirations to really go for his fourteenth successive Hong Kong Jockey Premiership and the answer is, “No, mate”.
But when it comes to this premiership that the jockey has owned for so long, “No, mate” usually means, “Yes, sir, three bags full, sir” and the hint of some drooling.
With chatter about Joao Moreira and his twice weekly magic shows, thankfully making way for his god-given talent, and The Zac Attack still riding brilliantly though bereft of rides for the powerful stables of John Moore, Tony Cruz and John Size, Whyte, the Wile E Coyote of Hong Kong racing, must be doing the maths in his head just as he did a few seasons ago when Brett Prebble had a 15 win break on him with only a handful of meetings to go.
While Prebble hit a brick wall, Whyte, as he had promised and never one to wilt under pressure, went into overdrive and started riding doubles, trebles and four-timers.
It was a brutal, lethal Durban Demon attack, it succeeded and, against all odds- and Phil Collins singing that gooey song- he pipped Brett Prebble right on the post to bag his tenth consecutive Jockey Premiership.
Today, an eighteen-win lead seems like a healthy cushion for Zac Purton, but, what looked like being a two-horse race for the Jockey Premiership could very well become a three-ringed circus with Whyte crashing the party.
Tony Cruz’s stable is starting to fire with increasing regularly and the champion trainer, though still communicating with aliens through his blue-tooth ET earpiece, is leaning more and more to Whyte to keep his own championship hopes alive.
As we all know by now, Cruzy will never ever support The Zac Attack in his championship bid just as Caspar Fownes will never support Douglas Whyte in his quest while both trainers might give the occasional ride to Moreira- though not with the frequent flier regularity of a few months ago.
On top of this, Aussies Hugh Bowman and Tommy Berry start their riding stints here today and the behind-the-scenes competition and politicking for rides will make trainer Chris So’s voracious appetite to go after horses from other stables look as tame as Kim Kardashian with a white man.
This is when Dougie Whyte is at his lethal best- building new bridges where there might have been none previously and, suddenly, snapping at the heels of those in front of him.
THE FAST TRACKER FEELS AS GOOD AS JAMES BROWN ABOUT TODAY’S RACES EVEN THOUGH “THE GODFATHER OF SOUL” IS DEAD.
Punters took a severe battering throughout Oz yesterday where it looked to be a special Charity Day for bookmakers and horror stories of the big players going down for the count when horses like $1.50 favorite Dylansun lost- and with that loss signaling the end of a number of AUD$5-20,000 win roll ups.
In Sandown where the first four races were meant to be put in, take out jobs, nothing went according to script- same as at Randwick, at Morphetville, at Eagle Farm, at Newcastle etc where red hot favorites went down like ten pins- Vain Queen, Rebel Dane, Peggy Jean, Veuvelicious, Knoydart…
Even at a very strange and desolate meeting at Ascot- and, more and more, WA racing is looking like Tinpotville with Richard Burt, seemingly, not having any answers- or, perhaps, not even knowing the “foreign influences” controlling racing down there and why it will remain the Rodney Dangerfield of Australian racing- small fields spelt disaster for the big players in Singapore and Malaysia with even Toowoomba- TOOWOOMBA???- joining in the bloodbath.
In Melbourne, every single high-profile tipsters NAPS went ciao ciao and down the gurgler.
Can a phoenix rise from the ashes and spread its wings for embattled punters at Shatin today?
One hopes so as from race7 onwards, there are some terrific races whereas throughout the 10-race card, Hong Kong racing becomes TRULY international with Aussie jockeys Tommy Berry and Hugh Bowman starting their three-month stints- please TRY to keep the Aussie Aussie Aussie chanting down as it can backfire for the boys out here- and riding against Douglas Whyte, Joao Moreira, Zac Purton, Karis Teetan, Gerard Mosse, Matthew Chadwick, Neil Callan and a very much in-form Vincent CY Ho.
Hell, it’s the United Colours Of Benetton.
Still missing in action due to looking after personal matters back in Sydney is Tye Angland who returns to Oz at the end of this season to further his riding career- and returns a FAR better jockey than when he left. Hong Kong racing improves a jockey by many lengths.
The jockey to follow today? Moreira aside, I’d have to say, Douglas Whyte who has excellent winning chances in races 1,3,9,10.
R1JUST MISTERE/JOYFUL LUCK/PJ HALL/DISTINCT COMMANDER
Just leave me outta this one.
It’s to the buffet table for me and making a pagoda on my plate comprising noodles, rice, curries, sushi, desserts, lobster, steak and caviar in true Hong Kong-style fine buffet dining.
R2 FIERY FOUR BY FOUR/KISSMET/CRIMSON HEART/LUCKY DAN
It’s never been kismet for me with the miss-spelt Kissmet, and it will probably run another place in a pretty uninteresting race.
R3 REGENCY HO HO/LUCKY SCEPTER/DO YOU GET IT
R4 SECRET GARDEN/KYNAM/SILVER DRAGON
These two should fight it out- a battle royale between Purton and Moreiro- and double bankers for the Triple Trio with two value chances for the legs being Silver Dragon which will be ridden by a tremendously in-form Vincent CY Ho and the lightly weighed All Times Lucky.
R5 CALLING WITH LOVE
Celebrity Aaron Kwok- jeez, he really is a wooden actor- will mince into the paddock area with his posse wearing his groovy shades to watch his horse- Calling With Love- which, again, has Brett Prebble aboard, just as when it won at its debut.
Calling With Love has looked Okay since that first win but not the Super Horse some were expecting it to be.
Of course, the local snapperazzi will be in force calling out for “AIR ON” and Calling With Love SHOULD win what is a weak race where there is little value despite this being one of two Quartet bets which really makes the First Four bet a complete waste of time.
R6 CARTOON FAY FAY/REAL GENEROUS/AGIAAL/WRATH OF FIRE/JAEGER BOMB
A wide open race- and NOT a Field Of Dreams- which will spell the end of Six Up bets for many if the three top choices in the market were to suddenly run into some dead end streets.
R7 FREDERICK ENGELS
A tough race as it’s a pretty average group of sprinters. If Charles The Great had a better draw, it would be hard to beat, but Frederick Engels from barrier 7 and racing down a class with Moreira aboard should go very close to winning this.
DESIGNS ON ROME
A FANTASTIC lineup of equine talent from around the world and very bullish talk about South Africa’s Vercingetorix with Anthony Delpech aboard who rode in Hong Kong for a number of seasons and was the regular jockey of the great Vengeance Of Rain, below, and Japanese raider Epiphaneia to be ridden by Fugunama who doesn’t ride like some kamikaze rider.
These are world class horses and just might prove too good for the Hong Kong entries.
John Moore, meanwhile, has kept the usual gibbering about his horses in this race to a very low hum. He must be wearing a tongue tie.
R9 KEY WITNESS
After its devastating win at Happy Valley when ridden off the pace, Key Witness should give the Cruz-Whyte combination another winner to keep their respective title hopes within grasp.
R10 FLASH KNIGHT/DUNDONNELL/DEEP THINKER
A tough ending to the glittering Audemars Piguet showcase de cheval with baubles, bangles and beads of chances.
If wondering what on earth Zac Purton is doing riding another one for Tony Cruz today- Bullish Boy- well, his usual Go To riders are committed to other rides.
BEST BET- R9 KEY WITNESS
NEXT BEST- R8 VERCINGEROTIX
LONGSHOT- R4 SILVER DRAGON
SARIKA’S SIX UP
SELECTIONS FROM THE BIG APPLE (@SW064351)
Race 9, No. 7 What You Dream
Covered a stack of ground and kept finding to just miss last time. Strong claims.
Race 10, No. 2 Flash Knight
Drawn awkwardly but has class on his side. Take holding out.
Race 6, No. 10 Club Life
Lack of pace and should be prominent at the end. Both totes.
1,3,4,7,8 / 1,3,5 / 5,7 / 2,4. $50 for 83.33%.
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