THE BIG CHADWICK FAIL
Waiting till Saturday to be told if Matty Chadwick would be fit to ride and, if not, who the replacement riders might be had us shaking our heads at The Ministry Of Silly Walks and wondering if there are those who seriously believe the lives of racing fans, especially on a weekend, are inter-twined with obtaining news from the HKJC website and listening for announcements in racing programs. Please.
Oy, Einstein, if we have to wait until the day before the races to know this, do you SERIOUSLY think we’d back anything ridden by the young jockey?
It looked like a horrific fall on Wednesday night and, thankfully, Matty is okay though he has not only been stood down for today’s races, but for TWO weeks!
Matty Chadwick should have NEVER been permitted to ride, no matter what, and this should have been decided on Wednesday.
Imagine if he rode, felt discomfort, pulled the plug after a few rides, and there was a mad scramble to find replacement riders?
End of story.
GETTING TO THE HEART OF RACING
Someone on the periphery of horse racing recently asked us where the heart is in the sport and how, if there is a heart, where is it?
She wasn’t being combative or critical, but just trying to understand if there is life for many in racing beyond “the punt”, something far more prevalent in Australia with its daily race meetings, encyclopedia of tipsters, coven of bookmakers and with every second person one meets being either a “player” or wannabe “player” in a one-dimensional universe.
Real men eat quiche and those most successful in the racing game don’t become Tarzan and bellow their successes to the tribe.
All this simply stifles the sport. Or, perhaps, it’s starting to show up and separate the generations and creating the new divide where, in racing jurisdictions in the UK, the US and Australia, the wheel is not only broke, it’s fallen off- and with any new lease of life dependent on truly understanding the power of the people- and the changes already in motion.
In recent weeks, we have seen Tommy Berry wear his heart on his sleeve and show everyone how even one’s greatest loss and greatest sadness can inspire so many- in the racing world and outside.
Frankly, without him even knowing it, this young jockey has done more to give racing a heart than any racing club and show that the sport can be more than a motley crew of one-dimensional racing tragics with dubious pasts, living beyond their means, flying on the seat of their pants and shamelessly jockeying for recognition in what is an extremely tiny pool of people who almost live in each others pockets.
The world losing Nathan Berry and the great resolve shown by Tommy has made many of us look at our own lives, make life changes and decisions- and embrace the fact that there’s a whole other world out there other than horse racing.
Racing had another wake-up call with the sudden passing of trainer Guy Walter, 59, this week of a heart attack. It took many, not only by surprise, but has left them shattered.
We’ve met Guy Walter a few times and he was a gentleman through and through- polite, knowledgable, humble- and what always impressed us was the unswerving support system he was, especially, to jockey Blake Shinn through the rider’s ups, downs, sideways and back up again.
In the fickle world of horse racing, the Walter-Shinn partnership was something to admire- and two generations coming together for the good of the sport.
Moreira first arrived on the scene in Singapore, but has really made his mark in the bigger racing arena that is Hong Kong at a time when racing is looking for a hero to give the sport a face lift and human face.
With a new and younger generation of jockeys, owners and trainers making their presence felt, and seeing the connection they have in Hong Kong with Happy Wednesday night racing at Happy Valley and the peaceful and fun-loving melting pot of race-goers in the Beer Garden- this could never happen anywhere else- horse racing might even have what it hasn’t had to date: A social consciousness.
On Wednesday, when Matthew Chadwick had his dramatic fall off Lord Dragon right in front of those at the Beer Garden, it made many there- many who, thankfully, had never seen a race fall- think about what jockeys go through and the need for great mental agility and resolve.
We talked that night with those new to the sport- and far wiser than their years- who wondered what must go through a jockey’s mind when coming back after a fall, that feeling of being in the barriers on top of a thousand pound beast, and the split second decisions to be made when the race starts- and as the race continues- and always having to keep from harm’s ways.
Watching Matty Chadwick lying motionless on the turf hit home as to what great athletes these riders are in what must be the most dangerous sport in the world.
At a time when a new generation is entering the sport and the concept of “going racing” is changing, especially in Hong Kong with new venues opening up and new technological breakthroughs adding to the role of the HKJC being a facilitator to customer demands plus social media making traditional media obsolete, the impotence of the “racing media” and its aging captive audience while hard questions about the value of racing “personalities” are being openly questioned along with the huge wastage of money by certain racing clubs on ill-conceived events, nothing can no longer be brushed under the carpet and hope problems just go away.
Racing has a new broom and this broom is a super-sized vacuum cleaner that will suck up what’s not needed and finally provide the sport with that long overdue clean slate it needs to start a renaissance period and replace irrelevance with relevance in today’s customer-driven world.
“SHANE-O” DOES “THE DOUGIE” (AGAIN)
It was interesting to hear Tye Angland being interviewed by our old chum Shane “The Man Of The People” Anderson, the Anchorman of Australian racing, following the talented young rider’s decision to return home- and what a brilliant start he has made upon his return- to continue with his riding career after three very successful seasons in Hong Kong.
And, just as Zac Purton did with “Shane-o The Draino” a month ago,Tye Angland fell for it and talked about Hong Kong’s champion South African jockey for thirteen successive years being distant and how “he keeps to himself” whereas hanging with the Aussie boys was so much fun.
Yes? And what’s this got to do with the price of fish and what’s Dougie Whyte meant to do?
Pull out a- no, no, not that- wobble board and treat everyone in the jockeys room to a rousing version of Three Little Boys while slapping the arses of fellow jockeys with a wet towel?
Sorry, but this question on Repeat by “The Man Of The People” about Whyte would be funny if it weren’t so creepy, and coming across sounding like the parochial angst of a spurned bunny boiler lost amongst the tall poppies syndrome and clutching at straws for questions.
Meanwhile, here’s hoping that when Zac Purton becomes the jockey to bring an end to The Champ’s thirteen-year reign, humility is shown along with graciousness with the backing chorus of Oy Oy Oys kept in check.
With great power comes great responsibility and many will be watching how well the new champ wears the crown.
Douglas Whyte is a very tough act to follow- even though, apparently, being an unfriendly, moody, loner who enjoys reading a book and focusing on that next ride.
THE CAT IS BACK
A special guest at today’s Champions and Chater Cup day will be The Cat- legendary jockey and champion bloke Felix Coetzee who created history with the great Silent Witness.
Having hung up his boots and starting to play a role in his home country’s apprentice scheme, we couldn’t think of a better mentor for also Hong Kong’s young riders through an “exchange program” with first-hand experience riding in South Africa and the watchful eye of The Cat.
MORE MOORES THAN THE AVERAGE BEAR, BOO BOO.
With Tommy Berry confirming that he won’t be riding full-time in Hong Kong next season- a wise decision, and the right decision as family comes first- of course, talk is who will get the pick of John Moore’s arsenal of equine talent.
Frankly, we have no idea the need to burn out the grey cells thinking about this: Dougie Whyte will get some rides, Neil Callan MIGHT get a few crumbs along with Brett Prebble, the door is shut on Zac Purton and which leaves the entire cupboard for Joao Moreira to pick and choose his rides and take out next season’s Jockey Premiership along with some International forays for Hong Kong’s Cups King.
What will be very interesting to sit back and watch is the “exchange program” being thought about and to do with John Moore racing his horses in Australia with Brother Gary, below, who leaves Macau in August where he has been champion trainer to re-start his career in Sydney with stables at Rosehill being involved- even as a “facilitator”.
What John Moore has openly discussed in the SCMP about his plans and that of David Boehm- owner of Dan Excel- makes sense.
Having said this, we remain skeptical how the HKJC will view Gary Moore being involved in the process.
It will require the wisdom of Solomon to make this purr like a pussy in heat.
Amigo Darren: “There’s a huge £15 MILLION Quick Pick up for grabs tonight in the UK which will have those who don’t usually follow racing getting involved”.
Amigo Clint: “It’s great when that happens because it gets more new people involved in the sport.”
Amigo Brett: “Well, we have a HK$2m jackpot in the Triple Trio tomorrow (today).”
THE FAST TRACKER HAS DESIGNS ON WINNING AT SHATIN
In the battle for the Jockeys Premiership, with 13 meetings to go, Zac Purton leads Joao Moreira by 13 winners with both riders hit by a typical end of season slowdown when there are so many tired horses going around.
Are some of the new horses popping up any good or only looking better than they are because they’re running against competition that are longing for a roll in the hay? Time will tell.
Before all race meetings take to the dirt, these next few race days should be the time to strike those exotic bets where there are always one or two standouts- and today, in your Six Up bets, why think twice about standing out Designs On Rome to take out the Champions And Chater Cup on a great card and a meeting that looks like being held on a sunny day.
R1 GALLANT ROCK/STRATHMORE
Tony Millard has some VERY nice new purchases and these two could run the quinella without surprising. Both have been working excellently with Strathmore looking better. Hard to split the pair. Below is another of Millie’s new purchases.
R2 DISTRICT COMMANDER/PROSPERITY AETHON/JOLLY POSH
Brett Prebble should just win this on District Commander.
R3 GOLDEN DEER/HIT THE BID/STAG KNIGHT/FAMILY INTERESTS
Depending on its odds, I must might make Hit The Bid the second leg of a Millard-Teetan first double. Gotta LOVE the photo below.
R4 TONYBOY/SHARP HUNTER/BULLISH SMART
When Dougie Whyte gets down to a low weight to ride one, it usually means that it WILL be there though I think Tonyboy can beat it.
R5 ACTIVISM/SURROUNDED/OCEAN POWER/MR MARFACH
With a $2m triple trio jackpot on offer, this first leg could wipe out many- a Class 4, 2200 meter race!
With all the goings-on with feed and horse withdrawals on race day, it’s hard to back horses with David Hall which is the ONLY reservation I have about making Surrounded my banker in a tough race.
R6 ROYALE ELEGANCE/FASTER MORE/JOLLY GOOD STAR/DEMOKLES
Faster More has been off the scene for a long time after returning sore at its last start in March. Trainer Ricky Yiu has taken his time getting the galloper ready for racing and has Moreira up. It will definitely place but I’d rather go with last-start winner Royale Elegance following its strong last start win for Tommy Berry over course and distance.
R7 LET ME GO/WINNING INSTINCT/JAEGER BOMB/KEEN TACTICS
The day Club Life won for Umberto Rispoli on a softish track, Let Me Go, which was at 4.5 ended up a plodding fifth.
They clash again today where I see Let It Go having conditions to suit with Keen Tactics being a value chance for a place.
R8 DESIGNS ON ROME/DOMINANT
Seriously, how can any other runner beat Designs On Rome? It’s head and shoulders ahead of the rest with John Moore’s second stringer- Dominant- making it another Moore quinella.
R9 BIG FOUR/BRILLIANT SHINE/GOOD CHOICE/GOLDEN HARVEST
Apart from Brilliant Shine, the other main chances are drawn out in the carpark and with everything looking like this race will have a very tight finish.
For my money, Big Four is Whyte’s best ride of the day despite the barrier and worth taking as a banker in the first leg of the third Double Trio.
R10 CHARLES THE GREAT/DIVINE TEN/BULLISH FRIEND
I’m unsure if Dougie Whyte has decided to stick with Divine Ten over Charles The Great or John Moore has given the ride to Tommy Berry?
R11 ROMAN SOLDIERS/SEA DIAMOND
Whatever the case, it will be interesting to see Divine Ten tackle 1200 meters after being so dominant over the 1000m sprint and twelve pounds on his regular ride.
For me, also keep the Tony Cruz-trained Bullish Friend where Andy Suborics takes over from Matty Chadwick.
R11 ROMAN SOLDIER
BEST BET R2 DISTRICT COMMANDER
NEXT BEST R1 QUINELLA- GOLDEN ROCK/STRATHMORE
LONGSHOT R11 QUARTET BANKER MULTIPLE- 11 LEGS 4,5,7,8,9,12
SARIKA’S CHAMPIONS AND CHATER CUP SIX UP
SELECTIONS FROM THE BIG APPLE (@SW064351)
Race 10, No. 6 Aerovelocity
Promising gelding who has been freshened. Can go on with it.
Race 4, No. 4 Tonyboy
Luckless at his last two outings. Sure to be charging home late.
Race 9, No. 6 Green Manner
Honest effort behind Snitzel Kid last start. Both totes.
1,3 / 4,6,9,10 / 1,6,13 / 4,8,11. $50 for 69.44%.
Selections for Sha Tin from Third Dividend
SHA TIN (HKG)
Day Races @HKJC_Racing
Turf (“A” Course)
Weather: Mainly fine apart from isolated showers at first. Hot during the day with a maximum temperature of around 32 degrees in the urban areas, and one to two degrees higher in the New Territories. Moderate southerly winds.
Race 1: PRECISION PLATE, 25/05/2014, 12:30, Griffin Race, Turf, “A” Course, 1200m, Good
1 – Manipulation (7)
2 – Gallant Rock (10)
3 – Exaggeration (1)
4 – Starthmore (12)
Race 2: CHEERS HONG KONG HANDICAP, 25/05/2014, 13:00, Class 5, Turf, “A” Course, 1200m, Good
1 – Distinct Commander (1)
2 – Prosperity Aethon (5)
3 – Happily Time (4)
4 – Jolly Posh (2)
Race 3: HOUSEMASTER HANDICAP, 25/05/2014, 13:30, Class 4, Turf, “A” Course, 1200m, Good
1 – Hit The Bid (3)
2 – Golden Deer (1)
3 – Master Sommelier (2)
4 – Stag Night (8)
Race 4: ORIENTAL EXPRESS HANDICAP, 25/05/2014, 14:00, Class 3, Turf, “A” Course, 1200m, Good
1 – Sharp Hunter (14)
2 – Tonyboy (4)
3 – Laugh Out Loud (12)
4 – Bullish Smart (9)
Race 5: SURVEY KING HANDICAP, 25/05/2014, 14:30, Class 4, Turf, “A” Course, 2200m, Good
1 – Ocean Power (6)
2 – Dragon Bachelor (5)
3 – Activism (2)
4 – Surrounded (12)
Race 6: PACKING WINNER HANDICAP, 25/05/2014, 15:00, Class 4, Turf, “A” Course, 1600m, Good
1 – Royale Elegance (2)
2 – Faster More (4)
3 – Demokles (9)
4 – Mark Two (7)
Race 7: PRIVILEGE HANDICAP, 25/05/2014, 15:30, Class 3, Turf, “A” Course, 1600m, Good
1 – Club Life (5)
2 – Let Me Go (6)
3 – Jaeger Bomb (8)
4 – Winning Instinct (4)
Race 8 (Q1): THE STANDARD CHARTERED CHAMPIONS & CHATER CUP, 25/05/2014, 16:00, Hong Kong Group One, Turf, “A” Course, 2400m, Good
1 – Designs On Rome (1)
2 – Domminant (3)
3 – Bubbble Chic (7)
4 – Dibayani (5)
Race 9 (Q2): MAKARPURA STAR HANDICAP, 25/05/2014, 16:35, Class 3, Turf, “A” Course, 1400m, Good
1 – Brilliant Shine (9)
2 – Big Four (4)
3 – Great Sky (7)
4 – Sichuan Exec (2)
Race 10 (Q3): THE SHA TIN VASE (HANDICAP), 25/05/2014, 17:10, Hong Kong Group Three, Turf, “A” Course, 1200m, Good
1 – Charles The Great (1)
2 – Divine Ten (5)
3 – Bullish Friend (4)
4 – Aerovelocity (6)
Race 11 (Q4): NDIGENOUS HANDICAP, 25/05/2014, 17:45, Class 2, Turf, “A” Course, 1400m, Good
1 – Sea Diamond (8)
2 – Roman Soldier (11)
3 – Victory Master (4)
4 – Fabulous November (12)
Race 6: Royale Elegance (2)
Race 2: Distinct Commander (1)
Race 7: Club Life (5)
Race 10: Golden harvest (13) – Currently, $15.00/$4.31
Race 8: Designs On Rome (1)
QUADDIE ($100 get you 208%)
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