THE ODE TO WHAT WAS AND WHAT WILL BE
Last Wednesday was a train wreck
where winners were hard to find
They came from here, there and everywhere
Very few belonged on a winning line
Gun Pit became more of an armpit
And there was nothing Victorious around
And if looking for First Sight Love
Mate, it was nowhere to be found.
Callan meanwhile said Enjoy The Game
Paddy brought up winner fourteen
He’s chipping them better on the track
Than he does on the golfing green.
The Magic Man went hocus pocus
He found his wand again
Harbour Master sailed on in
Though Stag Knight didn’t ease the pain,
Altogether now: Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!
Daddy Zac went Happy Homing
Ending with a Royal Partner
But when Gun Pit turned into Armpit
The holes in the trousers grew longer.
Atzeni celebrated Christmas early
Winning on Regency Ho Ho
Mamma Mia, those Italians are everywhere
Nothing they do is ever slow
Vincent Ho kept the pain going
Surprising on Ride With The Wind
Punters grabbed at empty air
and let out a silent scream.
Happy Rocky dealt a knockout blow
And Brett Prebble celebrated hard
Trainer Almond Lee looked on in shock
Maybe he’d just gone and woken up?
Race 3 was a trappy affair
And many Six Ups bit the dust
Stag Knight looked a different horse
Suddenly the armour had no rust.
The Stipes gave Matty Chadwick
another short holiday
His ride in the last was a wayward one
Snowhooves had got in the way.
Neil Callan had to learn to count
He got his saddle cloth numbers wrong
And new boy Andre Atzeni was told he needed to know
how the Happy Valley track runs.
But hey it was still a Happy Wednesday
And the Kimono Girls looked so cute
Some of us went, “Hello, Kitty Kitty”
Oh, my my my, Sarika Choy looked so good!
Altogether now: Wow! Wow!Wow!
BenCam was here, there and everywhere
It was capturing sight and sound
And then there were those Pumped Up Kicks
Cos music makes the world go round.
And now it’s off to a big Sunday
John Moore’s been talking up a storm
Be careful when he talks them up
It’s always been a hollow sound.
December 14 is when the talking stops
And it’s time for action not words
It’s when the racing world comes to Hong Kong
For The Greatest Show On Turf
Lord Hans “Tennyson” Ebert
THE INSIDE TRACK
TRYING TO MAKE HEAD OR TAIL OF A STIPES REPORT.
Is it only us and our nitpicking friends, but are the Stipes Reports either missing a good proof reader or have they developed a language all of their own? Or, perhaps, someone thinks, “Screw it, who’s going to read rubbish about this and that horse’s performance not being acceptable?”
The following bit had us mildly perplexed, but we put it down to the Report being written in the dead of night- and long after the last Happy Wednesday race had been run: “At the 50 metres Mr Award shifted out away.” Huh?
The problem was that the further we waded through the Report, the worse it got. Or gotted. We were gotten.
THE HK IJC AND THE UNITED NATIONS OF RACING.
When this year’s Longines International Jockeys Challenge takes place on December 12 at Happy Valley, one name will be conspicuous by its absence: Douglas Whyte. It will be the first time since 1999 that the Champion Hong Kong Jockey for thirteen consecutive years and winner of this Jockey Challenge in 2002, 2007 and 2008 has not made the cut.
Instead, Zac Purton, Joao Moreira and- good to see- Vincent Ho will represent Hong Kong with a group of old and new faces participating including Belgian’s Christophe Soumillon, Japan’s- oh, dear- Yuichi Fukunaga, Pat Smullen representing Ireland, the UK’s Richard Hughes- again, James McDonald for New Zealand, Irad Ortiz Jr who rides the New York circuit, defending champion Kerrin McEvoy for Australia and S’Manga Khumalo, below, South Africa’s Champion Jockey last year.
Two days later, quite rightly so, Ryan Moore, below, will pick up his “Best Jockey In The World” award, a new initiative from Longines that we doubt is known to racing fans. Even if it were, would they even care? If there was a bet involved or racing fans asked to vote for who they thought were the “best”, perhaps.
On this subject, from a group of one hundred readers interviewed, the top five “best jockeys” in the world, at least according to them are Moore, Hughie Bowman, below, Damien Oliver, Zac Purton and Joao Moreira.
GARY MOORE WINS A CLASSIC VINEGAR ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE.
Brother Gary Moore has been unusually quiet since making the big move from Macau to Sydney. Known for his outrageous on-course antics of hugging and kissing jockeys who win on his horses and showing up on race days dressed more colourfully than Lady Gaga, Brother Gary has hardly had much to roar about. But a win is a win and yesterday on the Gold Coast, Gazza led in two winners- Ice Bucket and Classic Vinegar, both ridden by Frenchman Thomas Huet, below.
Non, no idea if he decided to take up the Ice Bucket Challenge whether challenged or not.
WHEN A TRIBUTE TO RICH TAPESTRY AND STERLING CITY GOT IT HORRIBLY WRONG!
THE BEAUTY OF HORSE POWER
THE FAST TRACKER’S B+2 SIZE CUP RUNNETH OVER
All going according to script, this eleven race card should be carved up by Joao Moreira and, especially, Zac Purton with not many others having the chance of a look-in.
But, as we all know, nothing in racing goes according to script as witnessed by the results yesterday at Ballarat- brilliant to see 53-year-young Kevin Forrester, below, win the Ballarat Cup on Mujadale with a beautifully judged race- Ascot in WA- Willie Weekes rode a 90 to 1 -and Randwick yesterday.
The only way to describe the Randwick Kensington track would be “disgracefully shocking”, and the “racing” that took place there which is certain to be discussed, dissected and criticised is another fine example of the ineptitude of Racing NSW’s leadership, pictured below, and a total disregard for their only USP: The racing.
Back in Hong Kong, with racing at Shatin taking place on the B+2 track, it should be fair for all. Whatever it will be, it won’t be the gooey, yucky, glue pot that was Randwick, which saw a rampaging Blake Shinn, below, continue his winning ways, and which makes one wonder when he’ll receive a call-up to ride in Hong Kong.
A Class 5 race over 1600 metres which is scary, mama! Have a small tierce bet with Bright Concept as your banker, and throw in some runners at good odds as this is more spooky than The Sixth Sense.
It might make sense to take Dougie Whyte as the banker who rides the Richard Gibson-trained Gold Dragon. The former Champion jockey has been having a quiet spell by his own lofty standards with many of his rides- not Luger which couldn’t fire last week when pulling up with an irregular heartbeat- being pretty ordinary. Having said this, when being counted out as being “past his prime” is when Whyte is at his most lethal. Beware of the Methuselah Factor.
A tough race as some of the better chances are drawn out wide. With some that can roll to the front drawn inside barriers, they could just keep rolling down the river like Proud Mary. This race spells out, BLOWUP! Have a fun bet and go for odds.
Last start winner Packing Pins, seen below, looks like notching up win number two here and adding to Mirco Demuro’s tally.
Finding the quinella and tierce legs are difficult when writing this at a time when clueless about the odds. But based on the riding engagements and form, I’ll have a stab in the dark here. But wait and see if there are any last minute crash, bang, wallops unloaded onto the tote before the race starts today and follow the money trail.
Though drawn barrier 11 and despite being beaten when blocked for a run as the odds on favourite at its last start, the almost Chuck Norris and Ramboesque-named Unbeatable Guts is banker material.
The Zac Attack can win on a broom with a BenCam stuck up his bum these days, and Unbeatable Guts has an undeniable winning chance.
Finding the quinella and tierce legs are not easy, but I’ll be keeping Jun Ju, which had jockey Howard Cheng suffer brain freeze at its last start, and resulted in him being banished into the Walk Of Shame is replaced by Joao Moreira and must be kept very safe.
For value, bung in Winning Novel which, though up in class, won well for Christian Reith at its last start. Derek Leung replaces Reith who, no doubt, couldn’t make the weight, while the local rider is no slouch. In fact, he’s a pretty underrated jockey and a good kid with a leading local racing personality as his girlfriend- which has nothing to do with winning and losing a race. Or does it?
A Class 4 race over 2000 metres and one of those rare occasions when I NEARLY bit the bullet and have a Sean Woods runner on a win line. Gawd knows that’s tough to do- so I didn’t.
Mosse is a master at these distance races and having ridden Woods’ Oxford Charley at its last two starts, the mighty French swordsman will know how to get this one home. Is it good enough? Hey, it’s from the yard of Sean Woods- a lovely guy, but so was jockey Wendyl Woods.
For me, I’ll have last start winner Rock The Tree on a win line. Place chances are given to Malaysan Pearl- a one-paced plodder, but one that can run out the distance, Towering Storm which really tested Neil Callan’s fine motor skills at its last start, Grand Harbour while the booking of Mirco Demuro, below, for Dragon Bachelor caught the eye.
A tricky 1200 metre race for the simple reason that some runners have seen better days and others are pretty ordinary. Caspar Fownes has done a fantastic job to keep Lucky Nine his big date with destiny is December 14. This is perfect to prep him for that race.
Singapore’s unbeaten new sprint king Spalato makes its debut in Hong Kong, and even with the in-form James McDonald on its back, I am unsure if this might end up being more Splato than Spalato. It has a lot going against it in its Hong Kong debut- a terrible barrier draw and running in a different direction than used to back home.
Sterling City ran a shocker at its last start and I have never held this galloper in high regard whereas Amber Sky heads off to McDonald’s for a McHappy Meal when making that turn over 1200 metres. So, what’s left? Aerovelocity and Smart Volatility which screams out, BACK ME, after its last start for Howard Cheng. Many tried to grab this ride and it’s gone to Mosse. The great French swords only has the Zac Attack to beat.
RACES 8 AND 9
Both races are seen as a two-part John Moore Show, but, as we should know by now, December 14 is when the master trainer will have his army of Big Guns primed for battle. If these Big Gun running today have saloon passages and Open Sesame happens and they are on song and their last start flops are to be forgiven, they can’t help but win.
Only the village idiot, however, will think that jockey Joao Moreira will do anything reckless to get them home and have the best of International Day plans come undone and cop a suspension in the process.
John Moor nothing. Like Field Marshall Rommel he’s a master tactician, and whatever you have heard or read in print about his horses chances today, just disregard them. It’s usually just false bravado, or experienced shake, prattle and roll.
Remember Moore recently saying that Rewarding Hero and Secret Sham were the two to beat and could be a stable quinella? They were the first two horses penned.
With his big guns no doubt ready to peak on International Day- IF sound- today’s meeting is when Moore The Merrier might have those runners on his “reserve list” close to at least win some decent place prize money for their connections. After all, owners are owners and not all owners have a Designs On Rome or an Able F have some good horses that will go off at good odds and more than capable of picking up some good prize money ensuring that a winning stable is a happy stable managed by one helluva successful horse trainer who still craves for Moore.
Having said all this, leave out at your peril, Douglas Whyte on Gold Fun and in the next race- the Group 2 Longines Jockey Club Cup- the Tony Cruz runners California Memory, Willie Cazals and Blazing Speed, a very fit Military Attack, formerly with Moore, and now with Caspar Fownes after a very acrimonious and public splat and split, and which the Zac Attack would LURVE to win on-and the sleeper in the race- Endowing.
For racing fans, all these back stories, grudge matches, possible rude shocks etc, it’s a fascinating backdrop for whatever happens today- and on December 14.
RACE 8 SELECTIONS: 1-3-4
RACE 9 SELECTIONS: 1-3-5-6
There are a number of exciting young gallopers here who have impressed with their last runs. It really makes sense to stick with these on a win line- especially, Universal Union and High And Mighty, and look for 2-3 others at odds for this, the first leg of what might be a very gettable Third Double Trio.
Of course, the John Size-trained and Moreira-ridden Teofilo Calva is the horse to beat and should win this.
Though the Rad bubble burst at its last start, it can’t be left out of place calculations along with Lang Tai Sing with Purton riding two pounds over whilebMr Ginger should be included to add spice to all Quartet bets.
SELECTIONS: (2) 8-11-3-5-1
BEST BET: RACE 11: TEOFILO CALVA (2)
NEXT BEST: RACE 7: AEROVELOCITY (6) and SMART VOLATILITY (QUINELLA PLACE)
VALUE BET: RACE 6: ROCK THE TREE (3)
R6: 1-3- 5-6-7-8-12
RACING EXPERT SARIKA CHOY’S SIX UP