(Courtesy of http://www.fasttrack.hk)
From racing’s Twitterverse
ILLEGAL BOOKIES AND HOW IS THE HK GOVERNMENT SAFEGUARDING ITS GOLDEN GOOSE- THE HKJC?
Reading in the South China Morning Post about the bust in Macau on Friday of an illegal bookie operations with takings of over $5 billion in World Cup bets including one $40m wallop on one match, this last paragraph made our eyes pop: “Hong Kong’s illegal sports betting betting market is believed to have generated HK$500 billion in turnover last year- four times than that of the racing and football betting operations of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, which has a government monopoly on gambling”.
Okay, that’s turnover and even if a slightly inflated figure, but what’s then being done by the government to help the HKJC- its partner- protect this monopoly for which the Club- as also the government’s golden goose- pays an extremely high tax- and is shackled by various Do’s and Don’ts: The acceptance of basketball betting through the HKJC in Mainland China- but not in Hong Kong because of “too much betting” in the city? Oh, please.
The $500 BILLION figure in bets is proof positive that there exists an “entrepreneurial spirit” amongst illegal bookies who have the freedom to do just as they please when it comes to EVERY sport- create new bet types, become creative all-round sports marketers- and accountants- throw caution to the wind- and with such HUGE amounts of money involved- and let’s not tippy toe around this- have “escape clauses” comprising willing fall guys in return for their families’ financial security while the Mr Ronald Bigs behind it all, do a Keyzer Soze, run off when tipped off on busts, lie low, and return.
ALL ABOARD THE HK RACING MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR
Yes, yes, we know all too well about the Great HKJC Liquor License Renewal cock-up- and cork-up- which, last Sunday, meant no alcohol being served at Shatin- a real Fawlty Towers moment for which the Club’s Manuel should be sent back to Barcelona for that mess- which could have been worse.
With the flow from this problem having now been stemmed, a few other stories, as is the norm in Hong Kong- and certainly not exclusive to the local racing fraternity- are being circulated with some of the questions being asked, perhaps requiring some thought.
Forget all that weirdness surrounding Joao Moreira’s wannabe bride. She’s made the rounds and was, at one time, fixated with Karis Teetan.
What many are still talking about is the Brazilian’s decision to apply only for a six-month contract.
Curiouser and curiouser, Alice, and as we’ve gone through the various options open to the jockey before, the new story- amongst others- has to do with Moreira having the opportunity to become the first “globetrotting” jockey and free to ride in Hong Kong, Japan with cameo appearances in Singapore, Australia and Europe- and the US.
Could this happen? Well, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t though we also have to wonder if that initial boom boom boom and Magic Man rah rah rahs have run its course. It’s all a bit quiet out there these days in Sambaland.
Meanwhile, the generous licensing granted to Christian Reith- we’re big fans of this talented jockey who has turned his life around- has raised eyebrows even with some of his jockey room mates along with Hughie Bowman’s decision not to stay on despite a very successful short stint in Hongkers including achieving what no other jockey has been able to do with the horse: Win on Autumn Gold.
On the periphery- and where the more mischievous and devious fun and games occur- the names of Macau casino kingpin Edward Chang, his Oz-based Sun Racing Group and its tentacles that reach far and wide plus the kinda goofy China Racing Club setup keep rearing their ugly heads with talk about their alleged associations with certain Hong Kong-based jockeys- a BIG No No with the HKJC as, left to their own devices, these could very easily “negate” the image of Hong Kong racing and open up some doors that must remain sealed shut.
NOTHING TO RAIN ON THE FAST TRACKER’S PARADE.
While the Zac Attack returns to the fray after a break in the Maldives and will take up a six week riding stint in Japan during the off-season, it’s good to see just how well Tye Angland has hit the ground running upon his return to Sydney.
Second only to Purton when it came to consistency when riding here, Angland scored a treble at Randwick yesterday and has quickly built up a strong relationship with the powerful Chris Waller stable.
Today at Shatin, the focus will be on the huge Triple Trio jackpot up for grabs. But with the thunderstorms forecast and racing on the C+3 Course, it has a very good chance of not going off.
Elsewhere, Zac Purton seems certain to be the favorite for the Jockey Challenge which he can, of course, take out, though I’ll back Hugh Bowman, pictured below modeling his line of The Huge Mankini.
Below are just some personal thoughts on the races- NOT TIPS- as the concept of tipsters and paid tipsters is, to me, a dated and flawed business model.
R1 BRILLIANT PROPOSAL/MELLIFLUENT/DISCIPLES TWELVE/OCEAN ROAR
If not for drawing barrier two, I’d have Mellifluent on top, but Brilliant Proposal with an advantageous outside barrier over 1000m and Dickie Lui using his seven pound allowance gets the nod.
R2 RIGHTEOUS/JADE PIPPO/HAYDAY
Should be a righteously easy win for The Zac Attack.
R3 WHAT YOU DREAM/BIG FOUR/LET ME HANDLE IT/CHANCELLOR
You are what you eat. And You are what you dream. Whatever that means.
R4 ARCHER’S BOW/CASA JUNIOR/JUN HUA/MAGICAL BEAM
A tough start to the Triple Trio made all the more confusing with David Hall having two runners and Brett Prebble, who won on Optimization Star at its last start jumping onto the OTHER Hall runner- Jun Hao- owned by the VERY strange Mr Kwok Ho who backs every horse in a race to win.
The Hall-Prebble team has been tough to follow over the years, but has been far more dependable this season though this double-pronged attack recalls the mind-boggling days of yore.
For me, I’ll banker Archer’s Bow, which went very close for that Bowman at its last start.
R5 MY GOAL/DO YOU GET IT/THANKSGIVING/CAPITAL K
The shocking run of the John Size-trained Do You Get at its last start was just too bad to be true, and with that in mind and drawn barrier 11, I can’t be confident about it, but have it as a leg.
My Goal will be at odds, Eddie Lai, below, can deliver, it’s drawn well and any cut in the ground will help, and I’ll take this and Capital K as my bankers for two separate Triple Trio bets.
My Goal? The World Cup? Could even be an omen bet.
R6 PEPPERMINT/ DEMOKLES/MARK TWO/STREET CAT
Caspar Fownes has kept a number of bullets in reserve to catch up with John Size, currently leading the trainers premiership, and Peppermint could be one of those sweet ones just as Mighty K was on Wednesday,
R7 PENIAPHOBIA/GO BABY GO/BUNDLE OF JOY
Peniaphobia ran a decent second over course and distance to the impressive Rad at its last start and should go one better.
Having said this, there are some in-form sprinters entered here though they might gave already peaked. Go Baby Go interests me as it’s way down in the weights and well drawn towards the grandstands and Bundle Of Joy looks the one to give Peniaphobia the most to worry about.
R8 YOU READ MY MIND/SHARP HUNTER/BOTH SURE/SPARKLING B
To me, this is the boxed quinella.
R9 ARPINATI/COMEBACK KID/KA YING KID/OVETT
You’d have to be Stevie Wonder to have missed the debut run of the John Moore runner Arpinati which flew to come in fourth.
With Tommy Berry again aboard- and who won the Tattersal’s Tiara on Cosmic Endeavour yesterday- Arpinati is drawn barrier 5, is taking a voluntary demotion and looks a very strong chance.
The dangers or quinella bets should be Ka Ying Kid, Jun Gong, Ovett or last-start winner Comeback Kid, below, which Karis Teetan rides again for John Size.
Its wide barrier draw-14- might make it difficult- though Teets is certainly no slouch in the saddle and, perhaps these can be double bankers in the first leg of the third Double Trio.
R10 TRAVEL BROTHER/KABAYAN/KHAYA/ZAIDAN
Khaya keeps running placings, but is finding it tough to win and is becoming a bit of a heart-breaker which is why I’ll stick with two of the John Moore trio of runners- Travel Brother and Kabayan.
With World Cup fever spreading, don’t leave Zaidan out of your bets.
BEST BET R3 WHAT YOU DREAM (3)
NEXT BEST R7- QUINELLA PLACE- PENIAPHOBIA (6) and BUNDLE OF JOY (7)
LONGSHOT R5 MY GOAL (6)
ANOTHER BOTCHED OPPORTUNITY
The air was heavy with a dank sense of anticipation. There was a crackle of magic rushing across the sky. The racing pages had screamed out the message.
That morning, some at the HKJC had mentioned how something “special” would be done to commemorate this occasion- especially if it were a winning one. But what? Ferkryingoutloud, WHAAAAT?
A bottle of Mumm Rouge being popped open? Fireworks? Parachuting acrobats? An appearance by Le Cirque Du Soleil? The banging of that CSL1010? A Swatch being awarded to commemorate the occasion? Maybe a keychain? Or a cap? A McValue Meal?
After all, this was last Wednesday and when thirteen-time champion Hong Kong jockey Douglas Whyte was going to ride his 10,000th race.
The television racing team revved up the public interest! The money was piled on until Whyte’s ride- Master Kochanwong- started favorite! And then they were off with the Champ taking the perfect sit while what many thought to be its only challenger- Ambitious King- strode to the front- and stayed there- until something seemed to go amiss with it.
This was all Whyte needed to storm to the front- but Tommy Berry on Same World came hurtling down the outside- Berry whipping his mount and Whyte pushing his mount- hands and heels.
It was the master and the apprentice and, as one of the best jockeys in the world- now retired- told us, “That was vintage Douglas Whyte. He made a tough, close win look easy.”
What did he get for this historic ten outta ten winning feat?
A congratulatory pat on the back when returning to scale from Billy Nader, the hard-working HKJC Executive Director of Racing, and the man constantly ensuring that the sport evolves and expands like Kim Kardashian’s ass.
A pat on the back??? That was it??? Another missed opportunity to market racing to those who wouldn’t know Douglas Whyte from Jack Black- but who would have enjoyed the back story?
Sadly yeah- and par for the course.
As Joni Mitchell sang, “You don’t really know what you’ve got till it’s gone”- and when Douglas Whyte leaves Hong Kong, racing in this city will be poorer for it- and way too late to do all the things that should have been done to thank and honor this jockey than some of the current headliners who simply don’t have that It Factor and, we’re tipping, won’t go the distance.
SARIKA’S CHOY CHOY SIX UP
FIRST “THE OFFICE”, NEXT, “THE RACING CLUB”?
Oh, please, let’s hope so. We’ve seen the first draft for it, and can’t wait for the production of “The Racing Club” to start- a fly-on-the-wall type of mockumentary along the lines of “The Office” and “This Is Spinal Tap” with characters including the whining prima donna jockey, the always-pissed off barking mad trainer and the head of the racing club who’s a cross-dresser and insists on attending meetings wearing a thong.
There’s then the chief steward who enjoys spanking young jockeys while swearing like a troll, the self-promoting racing media guru who sees himself as the sport’s Kanye West, all the tipsters who just copy other tipsters, the group of lonely, angry twitterers who know it all after they lose… Well, you get the drift.
Which racing club is this based on- and where’s it based? A bit of each, we think- and everywhere and nowhere- and probably the REAL game changer in racing which will take the sport out of the hands of an outdated racing media and into the psyche of a mainstream audience appreciating Monty Pythonesque madness- and which goes on for real behind the closed doors of many racing club boardrooms.
SELECTIONS FROM THE BIG APPLE (@SW064351)
Race 8, No. 4 Sharp Hunter
Won with something in hand last outing. Can go on with it.
Race 7, No. 6 Peniaphobia
Chased home a smart galloper in Rad. Hard to beat.
Jockey Challenge, C Y Lui
Brilliant Proposal and Street Cat look reasonable chances. Value at $28.
2,6 / 1,2,4 / 2,5,6 / 3,4,5. $50 for 92.59%.
TODAY’S SELECTIONS FOR SHA TIN FROM THE THIRD DIVIDEND
SHA TIN (HKG)
Day Races @HKJC_Racing
Turf (“C+3” Course/AWT)
Weather: Cloudy with occasional rain and a few squally thunderstorms. Moderate southerly winds.
Race 1: BEIJING CLUBHOUSE HANDICAP, 22/06/2014, 13:00, Class 4, Turf, “C+3” Course, 1000m, Yielding
1 – Mellifluent (3)
2 – Brilliant Proposal (1)
3 – Flashing Guy (7)
4 – Disciples Twelve (2)
Race 2: BEAS RIVER COUNTRY CLUB HANDICAP, 22/06/2014, 13:30, Class 4, Turf, “C+3” Course, 1200m, Yielding
1 – Righetous (2)
2 – Hayhay (5)
3 – Lucky Day (1)
4 – Jade Pippo (12)
Race 3: LEVADE HANDICAP, 22/06/2014, 14:00, Class 3, Turf, “C+3” Course, 1600m, Yielding
1 – What You Dream (3)
2 – Big Four (7)
3 – Good Good View (9)
4 – Let Me Handle It (1)
Race 4: OI SUEN HANDICAP, 22/06/2014, 14:30, Class 5, Turf, “C+3” Course, 1400m, Yielding
1 – Magical Beam (1)
2 – Casa Junior (3)
3 – Archer’s Bow (10)
4 – Positive Energy (12)
Race 5: FORTUNE ROOM HANDICAP, 22/06/2014, 15:00, Class 4, Turf, “C+3” Course, 1400m, Yielding
1 – Capital K (8)
2 – Do You Get It (5)
3 – Thanksgiving (7)
4 – Born To Win (1)
Race 6: CENTURION RESTAURANT & BAR HANDICAP, 22/06/2014, 15:35, Class 4, Turf, “C+3” Course, 1600m, Yielding
1 – Demolkes (4)
2 – Peppermint (6)
3 – Endorsing (2)
4 – Kynam (5)
Race 7 (Q1): DERBY RESTAURANT & BAR HANDICAP, 22/06/2014, 16:05, Class 1, Turf, “C+3” Course, 1000m, Yielding
1 – Peniaphobia (6)
2 – Bundle Of Joy (7)
3 – Bundle Of Love (2)
4 – Exciting Dream (5)
Race 8 (Q2): THE MEMBERS CUP (HANDICAP), 22/06/2014, 16:35, Class 3, Turf, “C+3” Course, 1200m, Yielding
1 – Sharp Hunter (4)
2 – You Read My Mind (3)
3 – Sparkling B (6)
4 – Brave Brother (1)
Race 9 (Q3): MOON KOON HANDICAP, 22/06/2014, 17:10, Class 3, Turf, “C+3” Course, 1400m, Yielding
1 – Arpinati (2)
2 – Ovett (6)
3 – Jun Gong (5)
4 – Comeback Kid (3)
Race 10 (Q4): THE RACING CLUB HANDICAP, 22/06/2014, 17:45, Class 2, Turf, “C+3” Course, 1800m, Yielding
1 – Khaya (4)
2 – Travel Brother (5)
3 – Kabayan (3)
4 – Willie Invictus (12)
Race 10: Khaya (4)
Race 7: Peniaphobia (6)
Race 4: Magical Beam (1) – Currently, $7.40/$3.60
Race 3: Kokoda (11) – Currently, $12.00/$2.70
QUADDIE ($100 gets you 39%)