NICK COLUMB AND SOME DIVINE INTERVENTION.
All the talk about Sunday’s meeting has been about the emphatic win of Divine Calling. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a win like that and all credit to the team behind it- Tony Millard for looking after the galloper with kid gloves and having it fit and ready, Zac Purton who made the win look easier than it might have been, and an unsung hero in all of this: Nick Columb, the rather colourful racing personality, journalist, raconteur, the man behind Peter Brocklehurst, and owner of Australia’s most number of Group 1 horses during the Eighties, who led Divine Calling in on Sunday.
Frankly, for a minute there, one almost thought he’d dump Purton, jump on the horse, sing his favourite Mario Lanza recording, and ride it into the weighing room.
It was Columb’s astute and experienced eye that found the former Gai Waterhouse trained galloper, and purchased it for not exactly chump change for first time owners Wei Yu and Liu He.
Both are from that land far far away called Mainland China, and Big Nick has been given the key role of bringing these big spending owners from across the border and Members of the HKJC’s Beijing Clubhouse into the sport through the purchase of high quality gallopers.
Divine Calling was the BIGGEST tip in Oz for months, and here’s hoping that Sydneysiders got onto the good thing- $4.60 in Hong Kong and as much as $5.60 with certain corporates in Oz on Sunday morning- despite the form guide for the Hong Kong races mysteriously missing from the Daily Telegraph.
This disappearing act is something that’s been discussed vocally on twitter saying the case had the messy thumb prints of the usual suspect written all over it- an individual who has waged a long, lonely, tedious war against the HKJC and will cut his nose to spite his face and even try to mangle the future and present of co-mingling between Australia and Hong Kong to “win” his misguided battle.
CAVALIA FOR HONG KONG?
It’s Le Cirque Du Soleil of the equestrian world, and Cavalia productions by the Canadian entertainment company are magical, spectacular and a wonderful tribute to the relationship between humans and horses.
Will we see a Cavalia production that brings Hong Kong racing to the stage? Or creatively captures the 130 years of the HKJC and its various contributions to the city in a spectacular show with a combination of traditional Chinese and contemporary Western music?
Why not? Audiences in Singapore were mesmerised by the show in August, and it was only the goings on surrounding Occupy Central that broke its stride in getting here.
RIP CARLY-MAE PYE
THE FAST TRACKER SLOWS DOWN FOR SHATIN TONIGHT
I’m still recovering from watching that Masterpiece Theatre production called Racing To Win where Amigo Clint, below, talking about Tang Palace in race one, mentioned that, “this is the kind of horse Gary Ng excels with”- Gary Ng excels in training something?- and then later saying some horse had to be ridden “badly to win”.
The Three Amigos were in top form with Amigo Darren, who, according to Amigo Brett, has a new police watch, picking Sledge Hammer to take out Race 1 as a tribute to all those who finally removed those barricades imprisoning daily life to those of us who couldn’t care about protesters or Protestants.
All that plus a very weird promo spot on ATV for Trackside made me have a lie-down. It was all too much to bother writing about this dirt meeting in any great detail where the races to bet on appear to be races 4,5 and 6. The others are pin jobs except perhaps race 7, which The Zac Attack should take out on King Derby, and, wait for the last, where Christian Reith might open his account on the John Moore-trained Harbour Master.
Bring on racing at Happy Valley on Sunday afternoon, and then the first Happy Wednesday meeting of the season.
Meanwhile, below are my suggestions for tonight where I’ll take a Triple Trio and Six Up with my Sangria. Nothing lost, and something gained depending where the Sangria takes me.
SARIKA’S SIX UP FOR TONIGHT
Total: $320 for a full Six Up ticket