With both Joao Moreira and Zac Purton on the sidelines serving out their suspensions, what one needs to figure out is what horses they might have been riding tonight and who’s on them. After all, they have the pick of the rides, and which are always well-tuned up for a forward showing.
Apart from following this “methodology”, it always pays to follow Dougie Whyte, especially now that he’ll have his tail up after his superb four-timer at Shatin on Sunday.
With the always-competitive Iron Man of Hong Kong racing- Neil “Donkey” Callan, who had a full book of rides out with a swelling to his ankle after that horrific looking fall on Sunday, Karis Teetan and Nash Rawiller look to have a decent book of rides, and now that he’s chalked up his first winner here at only his fourth meeting, Damian Lane could upset with some longshots, though, it’s disappointing that his book tonight is more of a booklet.
With the Joao Moreira, who, by the way, was pummelled in some sectors of the NSW racing media about his riding at the so-called “championships” in an unnecessarily nasty and parochial manner, and Zac Purton on the sidelines, Life In The Fast Damian Lane won’t have a better chance over the next few meetings for a clearer path to riding horses with winning chances.
Lane must understand, however, that nothing ever happens in Hong Kong to those who sit back waiting for good things to be handed to them.
It’s a steep learning curve to not only compete with the big guns on the track, but also match them in the Gift Of The Gab Stakes off the track, something which Whyte, Moreira, Purton and Callan excel at.
They see a horse they believe is a winner waiting to happen, and they’re In Like Flynn with every conceivable reason given to the trainer or owner or wife of the owner as to why and how and when they can deliver the goods. Those boys have got their skills of persuasion down to a fine art.
Having said all this, the jockey who has a pretty good chance of running in the top three in all legs of the Triple Trio and, perhaps, even winning the Jockey Challenge at good odds is Vincent Ho whose one-time boss, Caspar Fownes has entrusted his former apprentice with some very good rides, a few of which might have gone to Zac Purton.
With everything the Fownes family has gone through over the past few days, it would be fitting for the stable and everyone connected with it to see Caspar leading in a few winners. Let’s hope so.
Pakistan Baby looks as if a win is close at hand, and this could be tonight where three consecutive Happy Wednesday Digital Nights get under way.
Frankly, your time might be better spent checking out what these Digital Nights are all about at the Beer Garden while just testing the water here with a small Quartet bet. There are better races to get involved in.
These staying events at Happy Valley are often reminiscent of The Wacky Races where some cowboy suddenly decides to ride like the Cisco Kid, takes off a long way from home and makes a mockery of speed maps, form, handicaps, common sense and even The Three Amigos.
It’s really a DIY race, so your guess is as good as mine- and my guess is on Damian Lane’s ride, Sure Champ, though rumours that Amigo Clint has been called up to replace Neil Callan on Enjoy The Game might make things interesting.
Less than three months ago, Happy Rocky’s stocks looked very good- but then came a bad flop when sent out as favourite at the city track, and it’s had that sinking Titanic feeling ever since.
It takes a class drop here, and despite drawn barrier ten, it can’t be ignored with Brett Prebble reunited with the galloper and its trainer Almond Lee taking a longer time than expected to saddle his required fifteenth winner for the season.
On form, the main chances are Loving Star (Whyte) and Robust Momentum (Ho) with not much else catching the eye.
QUARTET 2 (1-7)- 2-4-8-10
Caspar Fownes brings Great Toplight to the city track where it has won over course and distance for Brett Prebble.
Vincent Ho takes over tonight with Prebble going onto Best Tango and also giving up the ride on Tom’s Charm.
Despite the jockey merry-go-round, I lean towards the two Prebble cast-offs though Best Tango, with a class drop, can’t be dismissed in the first leg of the Triple Trio.
What’s intriguing is to see Olivier Doleuze either replaced on regular ride Da Vinci, or choosing Cour Volant over it. Da Vinci has never raced on the city track before whereas Cour Valant has always performed better in Shatin.
Perhaps it might be best to err on the side of caution and stick with those horses proven at Happy Valley- Dilly, below, which was a surprise winner for “Chow Fan” Rawiller at its Dilly dally debut, and All Win Boy with good guy and in-form Andy Suborics aboard.
Karis Teetan came very close to winning on Wonderful Fighter at its last start over course and distance when beaten a nose by Golden Chopsticks which has come out and placed since then.
Teetan- and his fine cheekbones that make some women weak in the knees- should get it home tonight.
One of the toughest races of the night and run over 1000m where the very speedy Brillante, which has won over course and distance, would be on a win line if not drawn barrier 10. This race is not exactly fun and games to figure out, so I might as well take that as an omen and make Fun ‘N Games my banker.
Karis Teetan and his fine cheekbones have another chance to ride a winner here on the consistent Horse Of Fortune with the big danger being Bespoke Master with Emperor Dougie Whyte up.
BEST BET R5 ALL WIN BABY (5)
NEXT BEST R2 PAKISTAN BABY (4)
LONGSHOT R7 FUN ‘N GAMES (3)
SIX UPS FROM ROOKIE RACING FANS- AND MUSICIANS DAVIDE AND JENNIFER PALOR FROM ADRENALINE
PERCUSSIONIST DAVIDE’S SIX UP
SINGER JENNIFER’S SIX UP
JAY: GLITTAR GOD?
Happy Wednesday’s resident guitar god Jay Apungan became a glittar god last week when he became the first guitarist in the world- THE WORLD, baby- to play the new US$2m diamond-studded Gibson Guitar at a press conference to unveil this, well, glittering moment.
Designed and created by local music composer Mark Lui and Aaron Shum, head of Aaron Shum Jewellers, the guitar made the Guinness Book Of World Records last month as The World’s Most Expensive Guitar, and will now make its way to Germany and into the hands of Tommy Iommi of Black Sabbath for more promotional work. It will return to Hong Kong later this year when Jay will play it under the stars on a Happy Wednesday night. That’s when we do an Oceans Eleven and pull off the heist, ok.