THE RISE AND FALL AND RISE OF MATTHEW CHADWICK

CHADWICK 1

Yesterday at Shatin, Matthew Chadwick, 24 next month, grew up in front of over 22,000 people on Members Day and gave Hong Kong racing the face of its future which, until then, had been sketchy at best.

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Those who noticed Chadwick as a very talented apprentice when riding in places like Beaudesert, Coffs Harbour and Lismore, where, on a five-race card, the then-17-year-old rode four winners- an exceptional feat- always expected great things from the young Hong Kong-born rider.

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On his return to Hong Kong and indentured to the stable of former champion jockey Tony Cruz, Matthew Chadwick quickly lived up to the hype.

With his ten pound apprentice allowance, he was in huge demand-and he delivered- time and time again- with that important allowance kept being reduced until he became a senior jockey in just over a year- the fastest time it took a Hong Kong apprentice to graduate.

CHADWICK 4

Talent is talent and Matthew Chadwick showed that he has what it takes to compete against the best riding in Hong Kong, then and now- Whyte, Purton, Prebble, Mosse, Guyon, Doleuze, Moreira, Berry, Bowman and Angland.

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With California Memory, he’s tasted the ups and downs and highs and lows of racing- and all credit to Tony Cruz who supported his stable jockey and, no doubt, saw something of himself in Chadwick.

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Success and fame came early for Cruz, which he took in stride and proved in front of thousands in Hong Kong and also the UK and Europe.

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The question always was whether Matty Chadwick had this same discipline- this same combination of natural talent mixed with determination and that all-important emotional toughness.

Whereas Tony Cruz had a strong family unit around him led by his dad- amateur jockey Johnny Cruz- Matthew Chadwick, born to extremely poor Chinese parents, and the adopted son of British school teachers, Jennifer and Chris Chadwick, has, rightly or wrongly, come across as a loner.

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Over the last few years, he has often appeared moody and has had to endure suspensions, injuries and throw in a few bouts of bizarre behaviour. He seemed an angry young man.

Through it all, Tony Cruz has been unswerving in his support and defense and mentoring of his “problem child.”

CHADWICK 10

A month ago, we were there when the jockey had a bad fall off his horse- a sickening fall right in front of us and which made us wonder if he’d ever come back from it- emotionally intact.

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Still, he returned to riding a few weeks ago and, watching some of his performances, we wondered if he might have lost his confidence. And if he had lost that will to take chances and ride to win.

He hasn’t- far from it.

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During these days where all the headlines have been shared by Joao Moreira, Zac Purton and Douglas Whyte, on Sunday, Matthew Chadwick almost did the impossible: He stole their thunder from right under their noses by riding four winners- three unexpected winners including a brilliant front-running ride in the last race of the day aboard 50 to 1 outsider Helene Super Star and where he outfoxed some of the best jockeys in the world.

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Watching the way he controlled the race, shook the reins and didn’t resort to the whip, but only his upper body strength, Matty Chadwick reminded us of the great Felix Coetzee.

We don’t pay compliments like that flippantly.

Coetzee and Cruz were Hong Kong’s greatest C Team in an A Grade Group 1 world known best for their successes with the great Silent Witness.

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At Shatin yesterday, we saw the new C Team- Matthew Chadwick and Tony Cruz. And while the racing world of Australia has young guns like Tommy Berry, James McDonald, Katelyn Mallyon, Jye McNeil, Josh Cartwright, Brendon Avdulla, Tye Angland and others and Europe has precocious young riding talent in Mikhael Barzalona, Maxime Guyon and Umberto Rispoli, not since Tony Cruz has Hong Kong had a home-grown racing idol.

Yesterday, Matthew Chadwick changed that. He gave Hong Kong racing fans a new Hong Kong success story to cheer on.

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With his first winner of the day being for Caspar Fownes in race one- the 20 to 1 Victory General- the other three were for Tony Cruz- Chancellor, favorite Peniaphobia when he out-rode an equally determined Joao Moreira, and, finally, running away with Helene Super Star.

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Since starting his riding career in Hong Kong in 2008, Matthew Chadwick has been a revelation, a hugely talented rider with the world at his feet and, at times, exasperating with almost a destructive streak and a mighty big chip on his shoulder- the Robert Downey Jr of racing.

Yesterday, the “good Matthew Chadwick” showed up. And watching his joy at winning his fourth winner of the day, Helene wasn’t the only Super Star going past that winning post and giving wind burn to others in that race.

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Matthew Chadwick separated the men from the boys- and in so doing, the Hong Kong boy looked the world class rider many tipped he would become after that other four-timer at Lismore.

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All Rights Reserved
No part of this website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials.

Posted in The horse racing industry, Tony Cruz, www.fasttrack.hk | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

REMEMBERING “THE SILVER FOX”- NG CHI LAM

NG CHI LAM 1

He might not have been the most consistent trainers around, but no one could ignore the power wielded by Jerry Ng Chi-lam.

NG CHI LAM 2

Known as “The Silver Fox” for his full head of silver hair and the very smart betting coups his stable would successfully pull off, the Shanghainese trainer was best known for his association with the great Silver Lining, one of Hong Kong original legendary equine heroes, owned by Sanford Yung and ridden to many of his wins by American Hall Of Famer Bill Hartack.

NG CHI LAM 3

The combination of Ng and Hartack was impossible to follow as horses backed and tipped, somehow, almost always, flopped- but when at around 80s, they’d pop up.

NG CHI LAM 4

No one- not even the tough taking Tung Biu, whose distrust of ALL Aussie jockeys, but, especially, jockey Peter Miers aka “The Organiser”, was legendary and saw himself- and was- “The Voice Of The Punter”- turned a blind eye to Ng’s notorious betting coups.

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With fellow trainers Brian Kan and Wong Tang-pin, Tung Biu knew that Ng Chi-lam was trying to own a slice of that betting pie during those colonial days of the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club- an arrogant club and loathed by many locals who saw it being a law unto itself- and when expat jockeys seemed to have Get Out Of Jail Free Club until the formation of the Independent Commission Against Corruption which resulted in The Shanghai Syndicate fallout- and brought down many sacred cows.

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Perhaps, this is why, no matter what he did with his runners- all those coups with owner Poon Wing-gai’s gallopers with names like Ampere and Ampersand and always ridden by that leprechaun Johnny Roe, below, the way, he would leg up the wily Ray Setches on Windy Sail who was, let’s say, a very “adept jockey”- no one said anything.

NG CHI LAM 7

What happened in Jerry Ng’s stable, stayed in Jerry Ng’s stable whereas no one could take away from what he achieved with his horses like the tough-to-train Tea For Two 11 to give him his first Hong Kong Derby in 1987 when ridden by Tony Cruz which won by a neck and survived a protest lodged by Bobby Vance on runner-up Flying Dancer.

Of course, there were the successes of Silver Lining, a HK$50,000 Subscription Griffin that was the three-time winner of the Champions And Chater Cup, was voted Horse Of The Year in 1978, 1979 and 1981, and the first horse to win the Shatin Trophy on the opening day of the Shatin racecourse- but when switched to the stable of George Moore and ridden by Peter Leyshan- a vastly underrated jockey for that time.

NG CHI LAM 8

Like many local trainers and jockeys who’d run their course in Hong Kong, “The Silver Fox” dabbled with training in Macau for a while, but when one has scaled the heights of Hong Kong racing, Macau racing is like a Bonnie Tyler song: Nothing but a heartache.

NG CHI LAM 9

I ran into Mr Ng about six months ago.

As always, at 6pm on a Wednesday, he was attending the races at Happy Wednesday- though in his Eighties, still looking fit, proud and with that grey mane intact- the one-time Lion King of, especially, the city track.

NG CHI LAM 10

We exchanged greetings and he opened his racing book, pointed to a horse and gave it the thumbs up. It won at 8s.

Jerry Ng Chi-lam passed away about almost two weeks ago- quietly and in a dignified manner.

Winfried Englbrecht-Bresges paid tribute to him in one of his recent CEO Blogs on the HKJC site, but, otherwise, there has been precious little written about this iconic trainer.

Ng Chi-lam deserved more.

At a time when racing has some bland people in the industry, real characters like “The Silver Fox” should be remembered- and respected- for becoming a local success in colonial Hong Kong when prejudices were rampant and what was then, the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club was not a popular landmark with much of the public.

Ng Chi-lam, who learnt his trade largely by watching Russian trainers like George Sofronoff and Nick Metrevelli who left Shanghai after the Cultural Revolution for Hong Kong, should also be remembered for the savvy ways he used those jockeys he trusted and managed to pull off some truly legendary betting coups.

Hans Ebert

NG CHI LAM 11

Posted in Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing | 1 Comment

THE $140 MILLION GRAB BAG OF HONG KONG RACING’S WANG DANG DIM SUM AND THEN SUM DOODLES

(Courtesy of http://www.fasttrack.hk)

From racing’s Twitterverse

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ILLEGAL BOOKIES AND HOW IS THE HK GOVERNMENT SAFEGUARDING ITS GOLDEN GOOSE- THE HKJC?

Print

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”.

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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.

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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.

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ALL ABOARD THE HK RACING MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR

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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.

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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.

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Forget all that weirdness surrounding Joao Moreira’s wannabe bride. She’s made the rounds and was, at one time, fixated with Karis Teetan.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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R2 RIGHTEOUS/JADE PIPPO/HAYDAY

Should be a righteously easy win for The Zac Attack.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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For me, I’ll banker Archer’s Bow, which went very close for that Bowman at its last start.

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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.

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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.

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My Goal? The World Cup? Could even be an omen bet.

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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,

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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With World Cup fever spreading, don’t leave Zaidan out of your bets.

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BEST BET R3 WHAT YOU DREAM (3)
NEXT BEST R7- QUINELLA PLACE- PENIAPHOBIA (6) and BUNDLE OF JOY (7)
LONGSHOT R5 MY GOAL (6)

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ANOTHER BOTCHED OPPORTUNITY

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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.

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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?

We Want jacket October 9

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?

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After all, this was last Wednesday and when thirteen-time champion Hong Kong jockey Douglas Whyte was going to ride his 10,000th race.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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SARIKA’S CHOY CHOY SIX UP

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R5- 5,6,7,8
R6- 4,6,13
R7- 6
R8- 4
R9- 2
R10- 3,4,5

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FIRST “THE OFFICE”, NEXT, “THE RACING CLUB”?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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SELECTIONS FROM THE BIG APPLE (@SW064351)

big apple 4

BEST BET
Race 8, No. 4 Sharp Hunter
Won with something in hand last outing. Can go on with it.

SECOND BEST
Race 7, No. 6 Peniaphobia
Chased home a smart galloper in Rad. Hard to beat.

LONGSHOT
Jockey Challenge, C Y Lui
Brilliant Proposal and Street Cat look reasonable chances. Value at $28.

QUADDIE
2,6 / 1,2,4 / 2,5,6 / 3,4,5. $50 for 92.59%.

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TODAY’S SELECTIONS FOR SHA TIN FROM THE THIRD DIVIDEND

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SHA TIN (HKG)
Sun 22.6.14
Day Races @HKJC_Racing
Turf (“C+3″ Course/AWT)
Weather: Cloudy with occasional rain and a few squally thunderstorms. Moderate southerly winds.
Source: http://www.hko.gov.hk/contente.htm

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)

BEST BET
Race 10: Khaya (4)

NEXT BEST
Race 7: Peniaphobia (6)

VALUE BET
Race 4: Magical Beam (1) – Currently, $7.40/$3.60

LONG SHOT
Race 3: Kokoda (11) – Currently, $12.00/$2.70

QUADDIE ($100 gets you 39%)
2.5.6.7
1.3.4.6
2.3.5.6
3.4.5.12

SIX UP
7.8
4.6
6.7
3.4.6
2.6
4

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PARTING SHOT

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Posted in brett prebble, casper fownes, DOUGLAS WHYTE, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, JOAO MOREIRA, JOHN MOORE, JOHN SIZE, The horse racing industry, www.fasttrack.hk, zac purton | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

TONY MOKBEL AND THE ART OF CO-OPERATION AND WORKING TOGETHER

CAN LOVE EVER KEEP NSW AND VICTORIA TOGETHER LIKE A CAPTAIN AND TENNILLE SONG?

TOGETHER 1

If recent events are any indication, the answer to the most fundamental question affecting the future health of Australian racing is a resounding NO.

TOGETHER 2

Despite the spin and rhetoric uttered by the hierarchies of both Racing NSW and Racing Victoria over the past year or more, the actions of administrators and their Boards have spoken with deafening loudness and clarity than the words emanating from their mealy mouths.

TOGETHER 3

As the two premier racing states in Australia, NSW and Victoria have the ability, through their combined populations, percentages of wagering revenue, historic and present day racing landscape to force serious and dramatic change to Australian racing.

If joined together, by the very force of their financial power, they could control and deliver the types of financial benefits not just to themselves, but to every other racing State, which could come very close to securing the financial future of Australian racing, and importantly, each State’s representation of the benchmark “50,000” participants, which you know who keeps flagellating himself with at every opportunity.

TOGETHER 4

The adoption of a bi-partisan model of governance and administration with the important ingredient of a spirit of bi-partisanship would be a leap of faith which might be a jump too far for the warring administrators in both States.

TOGETHER 5

But, they just might not have any more options but to come to the table- dragging and screaming- and save their respective industries from literally going down the gurgler.

TOGETHER 6

Both States have publicly documented the funding crises that they are facing – crises which have been of their own doing through a combination of incompetence, maladministration, financial waste, lack of accountability, self interest, costly wars of attrition to assert hegemony, an abysmal lack of planning and cooperation, massive deficiencies in strategic planning and a pathetic and lamentable absence of cooperation.

TOGETHER 7

TOGETHER 8

Posted @ Funny-Picks.com

TOGETHER 10

TOGETHER 11

Collectively, these glaring deficiencies demonstrate an overwhelming failure to implement and operate under principles of good corporate governance.

TOGETHER 12

Imagine a two- state model where resources are shared- resources such as financial, OH&S, human resources, programming, handicapping, prize money levels, marketing and communications, infrastructure management and spending, integrity management and regulations, equine welfare, veterinary services and protocols, technology, IP and media rights, to name the critical areas.

TOGETHER 13

Get the picture? The benefits of a single entity – a la the AFL model- would be a complete “no-brainer”.

TOGETHER 14

Apart from the massive financial benefits, it would also send a clear message to all and sundry within and outside racing of an industry capable of speaking and operating with ONE VOICE.

TOGETHER 15

Communities and Governments, and the racing community have switched off racing for a multitude of reasons which have a common ancestry – every single one of them relate to division and dispute where petty differences have been allowed to fester and grow a life of their own and which have completely undermined confidence in Australian racing.

TOGETHER 16

There is no greater turn-off than an industry divided- an industry in a crisis of its own doing, which sends clear messages that it is the antithesis of what racing has been, is and should be – a sport that is fun to be a part of, an entertainment alternative which demands participation and which people WANT to be a part of like, yes, Lord V’Lundies, you fun guy, you, the HKJC’s Happy Wednesday brand and activities.

TOGETHER 17

To even get to first base- to address the crisis facing racing in NSW and Victoria- the scorched earth principle must be applied – and the only authority which can implement such a necessary revolutionary change, is government – the two State Governments of NSW and Victoria.

They- and they alone- have the necessary weapons of mass intervention to dissolve the Boards and install a genuinely independent Board or Governing entity which can start racing’s own Long March towards re-establishing its identity and relevance in what has become a very crowded market.

TOGETHER 18

State Governments have demonstrated that they can- and will intervene- IF loud enough noises are made in public and behind closed doors as the ball is now firmly in the court of the many genuinely concerned stakeholders in both States.

TOGETHER 19

Australian racing needs these men and women to demonstrate that they are as brave as some of their own racehorses and come out of the very comfortable closets from which they have been throwing the odd blunt missiles about the state of racing and its administrators, and demand the change that is so desperately needed for Australian racing to be viable and survive into the future.

TOGETHER 20

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THE BIG NAMES CONTINUE THEIR ASCOT DOMINATION

TOGETHER 21

The first three days of the Royal Ascot have so far- again- demonstrated why it is why one of the world’s very best racing carnivals that has everything – pomp and pageantry, which still resonates so strongly in the UK, fashion and glamour, some of the world’s most famous racing names among owners, trainers and jockeys, hangers-on and the usual and self-promoting junketeers from down under looking completely like the tossers that they are in their toppers and tails.

Horse Racing - The Royal Ascot Meeting 2014 - Day One - Ascot Racecourse

TOGETHER 23

TOGETHER 24

These wankers aside- a pitiful lot- and far more importantly- are some of the world’s best racehorses.

TOGETHER 25

Ascot is fun. Like the spring racing carnival in Melbourne and Hong Kong’s International carnival in December, you just cannot afford not to be there.

At Ascot this year, if you were to throw in such notable absentees as Designs On Rome, Able Friend from Hong Kong, Lankan Rupee, the prematurely retired It’s A Dundeel from Australia, Just A Way from Japan, the quality of horseflesh at Royal Ascot would have gone up another notch or three.

TOGETHER 26

TOGETHER 27

But Ascot’s Group races never fail to disappoint- the Kingman/Night Of Thunder clash, the clash between The Fugue and Treve, Toronados’ triumphant return from nearly a year’s sabbatical from racing.

There’s Estimate, the Queen’s horse, failing by a narrow margin to make it back to back Ascot Gold Cups, the amazing highs and lows of first season stallion Starspangledbanner, battling fertility issues- these have made this year’s carnival one for racing aficionados to salivate over.

TOGETHER 28

Royal Ascot, however, being one of the most prestigious racing carnivals in the world, is coveted by the rich and famous among the elite owners in Europe and the Middle East. And that soooooo wannabe famous part-owner from Oz and his non- stop dribbling.

Horse Racing - The Royal Ascot Meeting 2011 - Day Three - Ascot Racecourse

The open cheque books and unlimited rivers of cash from Europe’s multis and billionaires, supplemented by limitless spending by the rulers of the liquid gold region aka the Middle East and its Emirates, have made European racing carnivals and Royal Ascot almost unrecognizable these days.

Name any champion racehorse- or champ in waiting- and before you can say Black Caviar, they are snapped up by a Godolphin or a member of the Qatari Royal family, a Juddmonte or a Coolmore. Apologies to whoever we have left out.

TOGETHER 30

TOGETHER 31

In Europe, most certainly, history has repeated itself: The wheel has turned – almost by 360 degrees. Racing again is the Sport of Kings. And Sheiks.

TOGETHER 32

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POACHING TENSIONS SIMMER

TOGETHER 33

It’s been going on forever in racing – trainers poaching owners and their racehorses from rival trainers.

The most recent instance in Oz involved a very smart Group winning three year old colt with a major international breeding syndicate prominent in the ownership.

It appears that one of the part-owners in question- a recently knighted gentleman- decided to divest all shares in racehorses trained by one of Sydney’s leading trainers.

TOGETHER 34

The purchaser of this share in this particular racehorse, which cost the new shareholder a fair amount of moolah, made his purchase conditional on the horse moving stables to the arch rival of the original trainer. That’s when the fun and games began.

TOGETHER 35

The original trainer, who recently lost a major client to the same arch rival, we’re told, called all other shareholders in the horse and gave them what was described as a “Group One Spray”.

TOGETHER 36

One particular owner told us his ear was still buzzing several days later- while, yes, no, there’s no “bull” to this story.

TOGETHER 37

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PUNTING FROM THE INSIDE – NOTHING’S CHANGED FOR TONY MOKBEL

TOGETHER 38

The News Limited story during the week that our old mate Tony Mokbel had been busted- INSIDE his jail precinct for betting- surprises no one. Does it?

TOGETHER 39

There had been rumours that it had been business as usual inside jail for “Fat Tony” for a VERY long time and the outside forces involved.

TOGETHER 40

Of course, it raises a raft of questions as to how “Fat Tony” was operating and placing bets while being incarcerated.

It’s long odds that he wasn’t betting “blind”- posing the equally serious question as to where and from whom he was getting his mail.

TOGETHER 41

Australia’s most famous drug boss and leviathan punter is both very, very street smart, and extremely resilient- and, if he likes you, a knockabout bloke.

TOGETHER 42

Many of his associates- some of whom have also served time for an assortment of serious crimes- have, in recent times, according to mail from bleak city, been spotted around betting shops and in the company of serious punters and gangland and feared bikie heavies.

TOGETHER 43

We also read that Victorian racing’s Integrity Commissioner- the interestingly named Sal Perna, below, along with the head of Racing Victoria Integrity Operations Dale Brown- have called for immediate reports from prison authorities and the police.

TOGETHER 44

Good luck to them, we say.

The racing police and the Integrity Commissioner don’t have much of a track record in nailing these types of serious integrity issues in racing.

TOGETHER 45

While they seem to be adept at using testing technology to bust trainers of low intellect who breach the rules of racing by drugging horses, it’s a different ball game when it comes to forensic investigations.

Interestingly one of “Fat Tony’s” associates from his pre-jail days is spending big bucks these days buying up horses- and with a great degree of race track success- with one of his team winning a feature Group One at Victoria’s last spring carnival and its subsequent sale netting lucrative return on investment.

TOGETHER 46

Wonder if he still visits his old mate these days and help keep his spirits up?

TOGETHER 47

Posted in Australian horse racing industry, Horse Racing, The horse racing industry | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

CROSSES, CROSS-BOWS, CROSS DRESSERS AND CROSS-BETTING AT HAPPY VALLEY

At the right time and place, cross-dressing serves its purpose.

And, during these World Cup Fever days, a good cross can win a match while a bad cross can lose one- as the Socceroos found out earlier today after a beauty of a header from Tim Cahill.

VALLEY 1

(Cross dressing)

VALLEY 2

(Football cross)

But what about cross-betting- like the cross-betting that took place for only the second time last night at the excellent Millions venue at Happy Valley?

VALLEY 3

In Shatin, Dougie Whyte was riding a double and making a fairy tale come true by winning- by a nose- on this 10,000th career ride aboard the David Hall-trained Master Kochanwong, named after owners messrs Ko, Chan and Wong- and with Tommy Berry aboard Smart Man almost being the party spoiler.

VALLEY 4

After months stuck on 299, David Ferraris notched up his 300th winner as a trainer when Holy Mac with The Mighty Callan aboard saluted at 30 to 1.

VALLEY 5

There were also winning doubles from Joao Moreira and Neil Callan- a brilliant return to the saddle after a long few days in the wilderness after what we call, “a Furio suspension”.

VALLEY 6

VALLEY 7

Meanwhile, at Millions in Happy Valley, the venue hit pay-dirt with scenes like those shown below along with a brilliant mix of the hardcore, affluent punter, ‘live’ music, those new to the racing game, tourists from the US and Europe, a Lady Gaga-type leather and House music dance troupe, FUN people and people HAVING fun- and not furtive, sneaky looking racing tragics from the well-known Hong Kong Department of Backstabbers Anonymous whose gig is up.

VALLEY 8

All these plus factors is no doubt why bookings at the venue for the last Happy Wednesday meeting next week are coming through thick and fast and where we predict a truly one in a million- or Millions- experience.

VALLEY 9

Frankly, we just wish cross-betting parties like these take place for the rest of the season.

VALLEY 10

Here’s also hoping they roar back like a Katy Perry song NEXT season- bigger, better and giving everyone- the cash-rich hardcore punter who lives on Hong Kong island and doesn’t want to haul ass over to Shatin but wishes to cross-bet with their friends at Happy Valley- and away from the $50 “racing uncles” in the Public stands- plus the new racing fan with nothing to do on a Sunday afternoon after the morning after the night before- the most fun they can have with their clothes on.

Bring it on, baby.

VALLEY 11

VALLEY 12

VALLEY 13

Posted in Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing | Leave a comment

TIPS, THE TWITTERVERSE, CROSS-BETTING AND THE WHYTE MAN’S 10,000TH RIDE

(Courtesy of http://www.fasttrack.hk)

From racing’s Twitterverse

VALLEY 1

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CROSS-OVER BETTING AND CROSSTOWN TRAFFIC

RIDE 1

RIDE 2

It doesn’t take an Einstein to see that with all the various platforms available today, attending the races- unless a truly CAN’T MISS race meeting or if an owner with a horse running or making that decision to make a day of it with friends or as part of socializing with business partners- many would rather watch the races on television and in the comfort of their homes.

RIDE 3

Attend Ascot? Hell, what better than to wear only a top hat and tails- nothing else- and watch all the pomp and ceremony while tuning in to a stimulating simultaneous broadcast hosted by JoJo “Beeeautiful” McKinnon and guest Wally “Soff-tah” Pyrah and his Tales From The Crypt and able to switch to one of the World Cup matches?

RIDE 4

And if not watching the races on television, then one can watch it all like Chauncey Gardner via the streaming of races on iPhones and computers, at off-course betting centers or simply listening in to any racing radio medium.

RIDE 5

Hong Kong is very fortunate as, in a small city and if living on the island, attending a race meeting- especially, a night meeting- “all the way out in Shatin”- is only a 30-minute drive away- but considered “inconvenient” by many.

RIDE 6

Yes, many in Hong Kong have been spoilt, and even being told an important dinner is in Kowloon is reason enough to cancel making the trek over.

RIDE 7

One of the very few times gentlemen we know gladly zoomed over to Kowloon side- Tsimshatsui, to be exact- were when deluxe escort clubs China City and BBoss existed and where dance troupes- a new one every six months- comprising gorgeous Group 1 girls from Lithuania kicked up their heels and kicked on at sadly missed nightspots as JJ’s at the Grand Hyatt where many in the racing world would congregate.

Hong Kong’s Club Bboss

RIDE 9

RIDE 10

As for racing in Hong Kong, whilst turnover is on an upward spiral and attendance figures remain stable, there is a need “to do the maths” and look at growing that customer pie.

RIDE 11

Like a marriage, too much stability could lead to lack of growth and eventual stagnation.

RIDE 12

At least in Hong Kong, this is where cross-betting comes into play- or, to be more precise, the importance of those who enjoy heading to Happy Valley after a Sunday brunch at The Brasserie and having a bet with the Kinks singing Lazy Afternoon in the background as, apart from taking in a movie, or going shopping, there’s bugger all to do.

RIDE 13

Tonight at Millions at Happy Valley- the $90 entrance fee keeps the “racing uncles in the public stands or on floors with no facilities making their bets and watching the Shatin races from afar- there is the second Happy Wednesday Cross Betting Party- and we can’t wait.

RIDE 14

And to those who pretend they’ve been to the Beer Garden on a Happy Wednesday and are trying desperately to be perceived as experts on Hong Kong racing to their Aussie mates, stick a sock in it and start to become relevant by experiencing what the HKJC delivers by actually Being There.

RIDE 15

Will these parties at Millions for those who prefer the cross betting experience at Happy Valley to making that Long March to Shatin become something permanent next season?

Why not?

It will only help make that pie grow and should be part of any strategy to win over new members, new horse owners and that new generation of racing fan who is yet to “graduate” to the Shatin School of Hard Knocks.

RIDE 16

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THE FAST TRACKER AVOIDS CROSSTOWN TRAFFIC

Some say that Andreas Schutz will have his trainer’s license renewed for single-handedly ruining every Triple Trip bet on Sunday- including mine- when his Cheryl’s Horse- beaten over 29 lengths at its last start- plopped in at over 60 to 1 to come third and guaranteeing a jaw-dropping jackpot of $94 MILLION for this weekend.

RIDE 17

With this type of money to be won, tonight’s races hardly attack my loins with any great vigor, but with small jackpots available in the first Double Trio- around a million- and the TT- over $5m- SOME effort must be made to snare them.

RIDE 18

I’ll be cross-betting and, perhaps even, cross-dressing, from Millions, a brilliant venue at Happy Valley racecourse- HUGE balcony area, ‘live’ music, some absolute glamours sashaying around, a great buffet and darn convenient to place a bet and watch a race.

RIDE 19

As for the racing, many eyes will be on the battle for the trainers premiership between Mssrs Size, Fownes and Cruz, the outsider in the field, but, seriously now, how would any of them winning this mean squat to you or I?

RIDE 20

It’s why all the blah blahs about this title race or who wins the jockeys premiership leave me cold. None of it benefits me. I’d rather back things ridden and trained by anyone that brings home the bacon- and the entire squealing pig.

RIDE 21

Looking at what I’d like to hopefully line my pockets with are a number of runners from the John Size yard- but which will all start favourites- so looking for outsiders with chances becomes important. And with Christian Reith placing on so many long-priced horses on Sunday- like Cheryl’s Horse- I’ll have to bung his rides into everything.

RIDE 22

R1 LEELI’S STAR/CHINA GOOD/JUST GOOD/SPLENDID GUY

“Darth” Ferraris has been stuck on having trained 299 winners for months, which means he must be gloomier than usual until he cracks that 300 barrier- and a smile that will shatter cameras- and probably why he has TWO horses- almost his entire stable- entered here- Captain America with Brett Prebble up- and China Good, a somewhat surprising addition to the stable and- huh?- “Darth” legging up Alex Lai???

RIDE 23

RIDE 24

Could we see “Darth’s” winner 300? China Good should go close, but these are ordinary conveyances and anything can win though I like the chances of Leeli’s Star for that sprint team of Gary Ng and Eddie Lai.

RIDE 25

RIDE 26

R2 SHINING CHAMPION/REGENCY HO HO/RIBOT LEGACY/GLORIOUS AVENUE

Regency Ho Ho is the one to beat, BUT, Karis Teetan scored a VERY popular win recently for the John Size Racing Syndicate aboard The Comeback Kid, and can win again for the trainer on Shining Champion, which came third on its debut.

RIDE 27

R3 TEOFILA CALVA/NORDIC ONE/SEASONS STAR/SUPREME FLIGHT

Moreira and Size combine again on last-start winner- Teofila Calva- which should be too good, but as I have always said, Dougie Whyte knows exactly when to jump aboard Nordic One.

RIDE 28

R4 IMPERIAL CONCORDE/JOY TOGETHER/OWNERS GLORY/MIGHTY K

The first leg of the Triple Trio and class drops, apprentice claims, fit horses, fresh horses, the dodgy weather, barrier draws, the full moon etc make this a tough race to figure out though I see either Imperial Concorde with a rejuvenated Brett Prebble, below, aboard or Mighty K and Neil Callan, back after a lengthy suspension, being good bankers.

RIDE 29

R5 FAIR WIND/GRAND PLUS/CONFUCIUS ELITE

Though loathed to bet on any Sean Woods-trained horse- they just don’t win when I back them- I’m hoping Karis Teetan can weave some Mauritian Magic and get Confucius Elite home without any confusion.

RIDE 30

R6 PRINCE OF SUNSHINE/CULTURAL CITY/BEAUTY KING/ CRIMSON HEART

Prince Of Sunshine has been working very well in the mornings and though a very average galloper with Eddie Lai up, it could come home at odds. Alex Lai, Vincent Ho, and Eddie Lai, might not be the world’s greatest jockeys, but when the money’s on and the horse has been set for a race- like my Longshot for the night last Wednesday- Cheers Victories did by winning at 14s with Alex Lai up- these local boys can deliver.

RIDE 31

R7 AMBITIOUS KING/MASTER KOCHANWONG/GERONIMO MEADOW/MULTIVICTORY

I have no idea though Ambitious King with Karis Teetan up is, to me, the best horse in the race and seems to have been kept in the freezer by trainer Tony Millard for an end of the season tilt.

RIDE 32

There’s some hype going on about Master Kochangwong being Douglas Whyte’s 10,000th ride, though when chatting to the Champ, he seemed to be in the dark about it and not exactly top of mind awareness.

RIDE 33

R8 AXIOM/PERFECT CHEERS/CARTOON FAY FAY/ALPINEFIELD

RIDE 34

Good gawd, no, my hoodoo horse- Autumn Gold- has been entered by Sean Woods for this all-weather race over 1800m and will have the services of Hugh Bowman.

RIDE 35

The poor thing has been running and running, it’s never ever shown any glimpse of being a Group 1 winner which was why it was purchased with the HK Derby in mind, it’s been gelded, it’s had a merry-go-round of jockeys and the now-nutless fella seems to have lost all zest for racing.

RIDE 36

The Huge Bowman might be able to extract something extra outta it, but, I’m not holding my breath, and, in a tough ending to the night, I prefer Axion, Cartoon and Perfect Cheers- a horse that has been very profitable for me over the years- though at Happy Valley.

BEST BET R4 IMPERIAL CONCORDE(1)
NEXT BEST R7 AMBITIOUS KING (8)
LONGSHOT R6 PRINCE OF SUNSHINE (6)

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SARIKA’S CROSS-BETTING SIX UP

RIDE 37

R3- 1
R4- 1,3
R5- 7-11
R6- 2,6,7
R7- 2,4,6,7,8
R8- 3,4,7,8

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PARTING SHOT

RIDE 38

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Posted in casper fownes, dennis yip, DOUGLAS WHYTE, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, JOHN SIZE, Tony Cruz, www.fasttrack.hk, zac purton | Leave a comment

THE FAST TRACKER LOOKS AT SHATIN AND THINKS ABOUT NEXT WEEKEND’S $94 MILLION TRIPLE TRIO

RACE 1

Gawd knows WTF happened, but Great Speed, the over-the-line favorite in the six-horse field ridden by Douglas Whyte, was all at sea from the word Go, and despite a bump by Exaggeration, it was never going to win- and always going to lose- while Andy Suborics continued to add to his surge of winners by winning on Fresh And Fresh after a great duel to the line with Karis Teetan on Just Ace.

TRIO 1

RACE 2

Race caller was far more exciting to listen to than what was a plodding race where Alex Lai, though riding like a New Territories farmer, made all the right tactical moves and got Natural Team home on a track that looked to be very “gooey” while Moreira, of course, looked great on Hit The Bid, but could only manage second whereas, as predicted, the well-backed Just Mistere was Les Miserables and ran fifth.

TRIO 2

RACE 3

Hughie Bowman- in great form- rode a terrific race to get old-timer Nightlign to topple over the line and hold off another nine-year-old in Good Luck Win (Mark DuPlessis).

Wine Lovers and Joyful made positive moves, but wobbled around like the Legless Ones in Wanchai and ended up galloping backwards for an Egg McMuffin.

TRIO 3

RACE 4

Andy Leung was prancing around the course as if an owner- is he?- and waived to his throngs of fans- two of them- and scared a few horses in the paddock, but none of this affected Bunker Shot, though still very green, from winning easily for Brett Prebble and giving Caspar Fownes his 54th win- two behind John Size.

TRIO 4

The big winner in our group was the person who whacked $38,888- her lucky numbers- on it to win as she’s following the US Open and sank her first hole in one last week.

TRIO 5

The big loser in the race appears to be whoever purchased first-starter Forever Accurate, which, to put it politely, ran like Kermit after a porker with Miss Piggy.

TRIO 6

RACE 5

And so it came time for the first leg of the Triple Trio and the $118m jackpot- a life-changing bet IF one were to win it.

What happened?

Well, Brett Prebble was to the foooooore again and won easily on Win Along- a roarer- which was racing down a class and following a stable change to that of Francis Lui.

TRIO 7

At the end of the first leg of the TT, the result was 3-11-2 and a $4,798 tierce with a terrible traffic jam in the middle of the race involving- uh oh- Joao Moreira on Life Of Beauty which was shut out of the race- but it was all smiles for Team Win Along.

RACE 6

The second leg of the TT, and with plenty alive after the first leg, there was an air of confidence- and heavy perspiration- wafting through the air for what was meant to be the easiest leg of the exotic bet.

TRIO 8

Not so for many though one of the favorites- Celestial Smile- made enormous ground to run third.

TRIO 9

Thanksgiving led all the way for Derek Leung while “sure place bets”- Family Interest and Sparkling Sword- finished out of the money- like many punters.

TRIO 10

RACING 7

The last leg of the Triple Trio and there was a beauty of a ride by Tommy Berry on the well-backed Industrial Way to take out this race for Dennis Yip.. BUT, Malayan Pearl and 60 to 1 outsider Cheryl’s Horse ridden by Christian Reith ensures a $94 MILLION jackpot is up for grabs next weekend!

TRIO 11

Cheryl’s Horse??? It lost by over 29 lengths at its last start!!!

TRIO 12

RACE 8

It’s been two years since Mark DuPlessis has ridden here, but the Group 1 winning rider is no second banana, and takes out the day’s Cup race on Fantastico while most of the others in money in the 1000m sprint do squat.

TRIO 13

That Christian man Reith brings in another outsider to place- Dynamic Voyage- and a second Double Trio that pays over $1 million.

RACE 9

Moreira wins on second favorite Bullish Smart for trainer Tony Cruz with favorite Sun Pins coming second. Outsider Best Tango, ridden by Andy Suborics comes in from the clouds to run a close third and take any value out of the Six Up.

TRIO 14

RACE 10

There was a little “DIIIIUUUUU” action in the peanut gallery when someone took over another’s “seat” which he had “reserved” by placing his newspaper on his “space”- oh, please- but, apart from that, it was a mundane affair with Joao Moreira winning easily at 1.20.98 over the 1400m on hot favorite Wonderful Moments for John Size.

TRIO 15

The JJ Team- John and Joao- looks like being a very formidable team next season and Champions in the waiting.

TRIO 16

RACE 11

Well, with no chance for a big Six Up payout, no Triple Trio payout, no big third Double Trio and treble payouts, a decent Quartet bet is all one can look forward to though the odds say, Nah.

TRIO 17

The odds were wrong as Pablosky running fourth at 40s made it a $40,000 Quartet.

TRIO 18

As for the winner, Dougie Whyte led on Fantastic Kaka and then, just when it looked as if Tommy Berry on Let Me Go had his measure, vintage Whyte hit another gear and he got his mount home with strong hands and heels riding that is his hallmark.

TRIO 19

Posted in casper fownes, dennis yip, DOUGLAS WHYTE, HAPPY WEDNESDAY, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing | Leave a comment

TIPS, SHATIN AND THE MOREIRA FACTOR

(Courtesy of http://www.fasttrack.hk)

RACING NEWS FROM THE TWITTERVERSE

Racing news from the twitterverse‏ 1

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Racing news from the twitterverse‏ 4

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Racing news from the twitterverse‏ 6

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Racing news from the twitterverse‏ 8

Racing news from the twitterverse‏ 9

FACTOR 1

The news that Joao Moreira was adoping a wait-and-see approach, and only taking out- or offered- a six month contract with the HKJC for next season has tongues wagging- no, no, he’s not been wooed back by Nathan Tinkler for The Pie Man’s nick, knack Patinak return from the wilderness to horse racing- about his possible next move or, more importantly, what it would take to keep the rider being the Master Sommelier of Hong Kong racing.

FACTOR 2

Moreira, the Magic Man, is no fool and could also be Sade’s Smooth Operator who, this week, gave the racing media a politically correct and erudite explanation about him leaving all options open- for himself, he was clear to point out, and the Club- to see if both can continue to make sweet music together.

FACTOR 3

Is Moreira weighing out an offer from Godolphin to step in for Silvestre de Souza, below- or could it even be the precocious talents of Mikhael Barzalona who’s had an annus horribilis with Godolphin and its ever-changing roster of riders for its runners?

FACTOR 4

We might be wrong, but we can’t see this happening for too many reasons to get into now- though we can see Souza riding in Hong Kong as we know he’s been putting out some LOUD feelers about riding here.

FACTOR 5

Getting back to Moreira, could there be an offer on the table to tempt him to leave for Japan?

FACTOR 6

There are two offers we have heard about- rumors, of course- but surely, if this did take place, it would only be a two-month contract unless The Magic Man can do a Mandrake and pluck some fluent Japanese outta thin air which is needed to stay there for the long run?

FACTOR 7

Then again, with his wife and kids in Australia, wouldn’t Racing NSW or Racing Victoria do cartwheels across the floor to lure the Magic Man Down Under and roll out the red carpet for this real family man?

FACTOR 8

Of course, Moreira has poured cold water on the Godolphin rumours, but we think there’s something niggling at the brilliant Brazilian- definitely, the People’s Choice as Hong Kong’s Champion Jockey- with the signals sent out being mixed on the surface, but, we think, pretty cut and dry when dug a little deeper.

FACTOR 9

To us, Joao Moreira is sending a very clear message to the Chief Stipe and the HKJC’s Director of Racing: Give me the same type of stress and grief that I took on the chin- and to my wallet this season- almost ten suspensions- next season and which puts a dent in me winning the Jockeys Premiership, and, well, if you see me getting smaller, I’m leaving.

FACTOR 10

In other words, Joao Moreira is no one’s muppet. He knows his options and strengths – on and off the course- he has the support of every trainer and has powerful owners grovelling at his feet for him to ride their horses- something to bear in mind on a very different level with the increase in prize money and better Private Purchases in mind- and seems to have thrown down the gauntlet- with a smile.

FACTOR 11

How this gauntlet is picked up- and by whom- and the ways in which a “sure thing” can be negotiated to ease his mind about suspensions-a-go-go in an industry where there are no “sure things”- while other leading riders watch to see how this is played out-and how it might impact them- will require the patience of Job, the wisdom of Solomon and the negotiating skills of Henry Kissinger.

FACTOR 12

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THE FAST TRACKER EYES THE HUMUNGOUS TRIPLE TRIPLE JACKPOT!

With Zac Purton taking his two day suspension, many will be looking at the horses the Zac Attack might have ridden if here- and which appear to have gone to Tommy Berry who has a very good chance of winning the Jockey Challenge at good odds- as does Brett Prebble.

FACTOR 13

As usual Joao Moreira has his usual book of good rides and Dougie Whyte has twelve points already in the can when he wins race 1- but, to me, the latter cannot win the JC and, unless putting down $500,000, betting on the Magic Man is not worth the time.

FACTOR 14

Far better to use this type of financial layout to try and get the Triple Trio jackpot which is expected to reach $100m.

FACTOR 15

It sure would be money more wisely spent than betting on anything in Oz where the quality of most of the horses running these days are very average 87 rated horses- at best- the condition of tracks are dire, and the boat race that took place at Rosehill in the last yesterday had many shaking their heads- and venting their fury at the ride of the favorite- the “surest thing” since a one horse race.

FACTOR 16

R1 GREAT SPEED/MANIPULATION

Tony Cruz feels he doesn’t have enough bullets to be in this season’s trainers premiership, but a stable quinella with these two from his stable, could add to his stake earnings.

FACTOR 17

R2 GENUINE CHAMPION/NATURAL TEAM/HIT THE BID/OCEAN ROAR

Tommy Berry and Dennis Yip are making a formidable combination with Douglas Whyte looking at being the big loser when it comes to rides for the stable, and here, the new team should go close with Genuine Champion.

FACTOR 18

R3 JOYFUL LUCK/WINE LOVERS/DIAMOND START/NINE DRAGONS

A quick back-up for Wine Lovers and Dragon Start and with, possibly, Joyful Luck the one who to split them and Nine Dragons, racing down a class and at good opens being the party crasher.

FACTOR 19

R4 INCREDIBLE FELLOW/SPITFIRE/GOLDEN BAUHINIA/JOLLY SPRING

As Gerard Mosse would say with a perplexed expression, “Sacre bleu, mon ami, you want moi to ride zeez goats?” The horses in this race are truly merde.

FACTOR 20

R5 ORIENTAL FANTASIA/LIFE OF BEAUTY/BAMBOO DANCE/REAL GENERAL

The first leg of the multi million dollar Triple Trio jackpot to be won, and, going on what’s happened over the last few weeks, this first hurdle has seen horses without names filling the top three places and any semblance of form going out the window.

FACTOR 21

This race looks so fraught with danger, I’d take a horse at 20s as a banker and wheel it onto six legs and go with double bankers onto five legs in the next two legs.

FACTOR 22

R6 CELESTIAL SMILE/SPARKLING SWORD/FAMILY INTEREST/MONEY CAFE

Celestial Smile really should have won a race by now and can take this out with Sparkling Sword and Family Interests running into placings.

R7 TERRIFIC MASTER/INDUSTRIAL WAY/ROYALE ELEGANCE/WIN IT

Terrific Master was as green as envy but still impressed when winning its last start for Zac Purton.

FACTOR 23

With Purton taking his two meeting suspension, Matthew Chadwick jumps aboard the Tony Cruz-trained runner and this improving should run into the placings. But who will win? How long’s a ball of string?

FACTOR 24

Topweight Industrial Way copped a bad check at its last start and should have gone closer while it’s foolish to ignore that forgotten man of Hong Kong racing- Brett Prebble.

FACTOR 25

Prebble might not be making headlines, but, I reckon wins on average conveyances like- yes, I’ll keep on repeating it- Distinct Commander- to me, THE most interesting race of the season even when it came to the quinella- and the jockey’s determined ride and Melbourne Cup winning whoop when it won said to me that the jockey is very happy to be flying under the radar, being chillaxed, and delivering when it counts.

FACTOR 26

R8 ROMAN LEGEND/FANTASTICO/SPEEDY SANDY/PURE FORCE

Tony Cruz once told me that, as a local boy, he will do everything possible to give struggling apprentice- Alvin Ng- who was moved from the stable of Dennis Yip to whom he was originally indentured to Cruz for better mentoring- some winners.

FACTOR 27

Well, it’s been a long wait and today, Ng has some pretty good rides for his new boss.

The problem is this: Is he good enough to deliver?

Mr Bean's Holiday Italian Premiere - Rome

R9 SUN PINS/CANNY FRANCO/BEST TANGO/BULLISH SMART

I have no idea what Sun Pins are, but have read much too much on General Franco and how to better my tango skills for the parade of cougars and milfs on the prowl every Wednesday night at Post 97.

FACTOR 29

R10 WONDERFUL MOMENTS/VICTORY MASTER

Moreira should take this out for John Size while doing handstands on the saddle with only Hugh Bowman to worry about on Victory Master in case over-confidence comes into play.

FACTOR 30

R11 SMART BALL/FANTASTIC KAKA/VICTORY HERO/LET ME GO

If the Six Up is to pay more than chump change, this- and an upset in race nine- is probably the race that will provide the value and where eight horses can take this out and me throwing caution and any semblance of good sense out the window and believing that Alvin Ng on Smart Ball might be one of these eight.

FACTOR 31

BEST BET: R7 QUINELLA PLACE- 1,7.
NEXT BEST R10 QUINELLA PLACE- WONDERFUL MOMENTS/VICTORY MASTER
LONGSHOT R9 CANNY FRANCO (8)
LAY- JUST MISTERE/COOL PAL/DRAGON

————————————————

SARIKA’S FATHER’S DAY SIX UP

Shatin 63

R6- 1-3
R7- 1-7
R8- 1-8-10-12
R9- 2-6-7-8
R10-12
R11- 1-4-6-9-13

————————————————

TIPS FROM THE THIRD DIVIDEND FOR TODAY AT SHATIN

FACTOR 32

SHA TIN (HKG)
Sun 15.6.14
Day Races @HKJC_Racing
Turf (“C” Course)
Weather: The Standby Signal, No. 1 is in force.
This means that a tropical cyclone now centred within about 800 kilometres of Hong Kong. At 8 a.m., Tropical Storm Hagibis was estimated to be about 260 kilometres east of Hong Kong (near 22.1 degrees north 116.7 degrees east) and is forecast to move north or north-northwest at about 10 kilometres per hour in the general direction of the coastal areas of eastern Guangdong.

In the past few hours, Hagibis moved northwards steadily towards the coast of Guangdong. According to the present forecast track, Hagibis will skirt about 250 kilometres to the east of Hong Kong, and make landfall over the coast of eastern Guangdong later today. Winds will not strengthen significantly in Hong Kong generally. However, the outer rainbands of Hagibis will affect Hong Kong and there will be swells. Unless Hagibis takes on a more westerly track, the chance of issuing the Strong Wind Signal, No.3 is not high.

Race 1: HKU FACULTY OF SCIENCE PLATE, 15/06/2014, 12:30, Griffin Race, Turf, “C” Course, 1400m, Good
1 – Great Speed (3)
2 – Manipulation (6)
3 – Exaggeration (1)
4 – Just Ace (5)

Race 2: HKU FACULTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES HANDICAP, 15/06/2014, 13:00, Class 4, Turf, “C” Course, 1200m, Good
1 – Hit The Bid (3)
2 – Natural Team (6)
3 – Just Mistere (12)
4 – Genuine Champion (2)

Race 3: HKU SPACE HANDICAP, 15/06/2014, 13:30, Class 5, Turf, “C” Course, 1200m, Good
1 – Joyful Luck (1)
2 – Wine Lovers (7)
3 – Diamond Start (12)
4 – Flying Keeper (8)

Race 4: UNIVERSITY MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY HANDICAP, 15/06/2014, 14:00, Class 4, Turf, “C” Course, 1200m, Good
1 – Incredible Fellow (1)
2 – Spitfire (2)
3 – Forever Accurate (6)
4 – Jolly Spring (4)

Race 5: HKU FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE HANDICAP, 15/06/2014, 14:30, Class 5, Turf, “C” Course, 1600m, Good
1 – Life Of Beauty (4)
2 – Super Horse (5)
3 – Oriental Fantasia (11)
4 – Win Along (3)

Race 6: UNIVERSITY HALL HANDICAP, 15/06/2014, 15:00, Class 4, Turf, “C” Course, 1400m, Good
1 – Family Interests (3)
2 – Celestial Style (1)
3 – Sparkling Sword (11)
4 – Thanksgiving (9)

Race 7: HKU FACULTY OF EDUCATION HANDICAP, 15/06/2014, 15:35, Class 4, Turf, “C” Course, 1800m, Good
1 – Royale Elegance (7)
2 – Industrialist Way (1)
3 – Ocean Power (3)
4 – Dragon (13)

Race 8 (Q1): THE HONG KONG UNIVERSITY ALUMNI ASSOCIATION CHALLENGE CUP(HANDICAP), 15/06/2014, 16:05, Class 3, Turf, “C” Course, 1000m, Good
1 – Fantastico (10)
2 – Roman Legend (1)
3 – Pure Force (6)
4 – Hong Kong Dancer (8)

Race 9 (Q2): HKU FACULTY OF MEDICINE HANDICAP, 15/06/2014, 16:35, Class 3, Turf, “C” Course, 1400m, Good
1 – Sun Pins (7)
2 – Bullish Smart (10)
3 – Ovett (2)
4 – Canny Franco (8)

Race 10 (Q3): HKU FACULTY OF ARTS HANDICAP, 15/06/2014, 17:10, Class 2, Turf, “C” Course, 1400m, Good
1 – Wonderful Moments (12)
2 – Victory Master (2)
3 – Sichuan Vigor (4)
4 – Sea Diamond (9)

Race 11 (Q4): HKU FACULTY OF ENGINEERING HANDICAP, 15/06/2014, 17:45, Class 3, Turf, “C” Course, 1600m, Good
1 – Winning Instinct (4)
2 – Asia Rising (10)
3 – Let Me Go (1)
4 – Victory Hero (6)

BEST BET
Race 6: Family Interests (3)

NEXT BEST
Race 3: Joyful Luck (1)

VALUE BET
Race 7: Royale Elegance (7) – Currently, $6.40/$2.20

LONG SHOT
Race 9: Canny Franco (8) – Currently, $35.00/$9.00

QUADDIE ($100 gets you 39%)
1.6.8.10
2.7.8.10
2.4.9.12
1.4.6.10

SIX UP
1.3.11
1.3.7
1.10
7.8.10
12
4.10

————————————-

SELECTIONS FROM THE BIG APPLE (@SW064351)

big apple 4

BEST BET
Race 9, No. 7 Sun Pins
Kept on well after missing the start. Deserves another chance.

SECOND BEST
Race 10, No. 12 Wonderful Moments
Won with authority last time out. Gets down in the weights and can win again.

LONGSHOT
Race 8, No. 4 Fun ‘N’ Games
Tackles Sha Tin for the first time but he is drawn well and should be competitive.

QUADDIE
1,4,6,10,12 / 1,7,10 / 1,12 / 1,4,6,10. $50 for 41.66%.

————————————-

PARTING SHOT

FACTOR 33

FACTOR 34

FACTOR 35

© Racingb*tch 2014
All Rights Reserved
No part of this website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials.

Posted in brett prebble, casper fownes, dennis yip, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, JOAO MOREIRA, The horse racing industry | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

PENIS ENVY AND ROOTING OUT THE PROBLEM

ANOTHER WAR ERUPTS IN AUSTRALIAN RACING!

PROBLEM 1

Buried away on Page 51 of the Sydney Morning Herald last Saturday, was a piece by Chris Roots titled, “Racing NSW in lawsuit against Victoria”.

PROBLEM 2

“Not another war” was the exasperated response from a prominent racing identity we spoke to as to whether April Fool’s Day had been reprised for a second time this year.

PROBLEM 3

According to “The Rooter’s” story- and we have no idea if he is or isn’t- “Racing NSW is suing fellow regulator Racing Victoria for more than $600,000 after allegedly being overcharged for product fees in 2008”. Unbelievable, but there’s more.

PROBLEM 4

“The Rooter” tells us that the “wrangle (over the fees), has been going on for more than five years and ended up in the Supreme Court last month”.

PROBLEM 5

Surely, this can’t be true: A dispute between so-called State racing regulators which has been unresolved for Five fucking years?

PROBLEM 6

Is this what the relationship between the regulators in the two premier states of Victoria and NSW has degenerated to? And they expect their stakeholders to behave differently?

PROBLEM 7

Does it not expose the deliberate lie that is continually put out there about the “new spirit of cooperation” between NSW and Victoria on all matters racing?

PROBLEM 8

Is it surprising that the regulators and their administrators have lost just about any semblance of respect among their own race clubs, owners, trainers, jockeys, staff, punters and anyone who has anything to do with racing?

PROBLEM 9

Is it any wonder that Australian racing is in such a dysfunctional state, which has made it- increasingly- the laughing stock of the global racing world?

PROBLEM 10

Australian racing these days is all about disputes – legal or otherwise- about wars between Racing NSW and whoever it can find to do battle with, whether it be Race Clubs, State Governments, Corporate Bookmakers, Veterinarians, its own staff, its own shadow, and now, Interstate fellow regulators.

PROBLEM 11

Surely, for something so obvious as a pair of dog’s gonads, doesn’t someone- anyone- ask the very obvious questions as to why NSW is always the battleground of choice for such wars and disputations?

PROBLEM 12

While Racing NSW continues to cry that it’s poor, it appears to be quite prepared to fatten the bank balances of its legal eagles through costly and often unnecessary litigation where mediation and good faith could resolve many of these debilitating and destabilizing disputes.

The Supreme Court action, yet again, demonstrates that those who still mistakenly believe that cooperation between NSW and Victoria on anything to do with racing is possible, are plainly and totally delusional.

PROBLEM 13

The battle lines were drawn some time ago between the States and it’s racing’s very own version of a giant dose of penis envy. Or Small Dick syndrome.

PROBLEM 14

——————————————————

WILL MIKE BAIRD ROLL OVER TO RACING NSW DEMANDS?

PROBLEM 15

If you read Rupert’s rag – the Daily “Smellygraph”- and listen to some of the race track whispers, the relentless “hatchet” job on the NSW State Government to roll over and fund the Championships may be resonating with some of the rural MP’s.

The change in the “spin” strategy to turn attention to the plight of NSW country racing and prize money, infrastructure, and the creation of a new class of “rural poor” among rural NSW’s very own “50,000 participants” constituency, is a deliberate and calculated throw of the dice to wedge the Mike Baird State Government in the lead up to the election – it needs to hold on to the clutch of marginal seats – and compensate for the backlash that it would face if it were to throw money at the Championships.

We even read in the ”smelly” that another of Racing NSW’s Boys Glee Club– the Trainers Association- has bought into the fracas, pointing out that country trainers were “eating the paint off the walls” to survive.

True, NSW country racing is fucked, big time. But fellas, girlie men, Romans, it has been fucked for many moons, Tonto – almost as long as Racing NSW was established as the NSW racing’s governing body.

PROBLEM 16

It wasn’t all that long ago that we were regaled with reports – through Rupert’s glad rags and handbags, of course – of a grand tour of country NSW regional racing centres by none other than the dynamic duo, Racing NSW Chairman John “the messiah” Messara and his very own pitbull terrier and Chief Executive Peter Vlundies – the good cop/bad cop and Dumb And Dumber and Laurel and Hardy and Batman and Robin and Sonny and Cher and Baskins and Robbins and Ginger and Fred double act of NSW racing.

PROBLEM 17

Coincidentally, the tour was conducted on the eve of the infamous High Court judgment on the Product Fee which Racing NSW subsequently won against the much-maligned corporate bookmakers.

In true political style, the “messiah” and his drone striker yapper that is Vlundies met with country’s equivalent of the “50,000” participants and Club administrators and trotted out the same mantras promising funding for the country wish lists, principally around prize money and infrastructure – both of which had suffered from a near decade-long- or even longer period of neglect.

PROBLEM 18

The one “rider” was victory over the corporates which would release the rivers of Babylon gold in revenue to enable the desert to bloom again with Boney M dining in the background.

PROBLEM 19

But like most political promises, nothing is ever cast in stone and few, if any, are delivered in total.

PROBLEM 20

And so, the NSW Trainers Association’s assertion that country trainers are “eating the paint off the wall” is spot on.

Not only are the trainers in dire straits, financially, but so are their owners – the few that are left anyway, because most of the trainers are their owners as well – such is the predicament of the country’s very own “50,000” participants.

PROBLEM 21

To make matters worse, the tracks and training facilities are still in the diabolical state in which they have been for decades.

Clearly, when the product fee riches were distributed, the city and some of the provincial clubs were given priority – although the funding was overwhelmingly thrown at city prize money and the Championships rather than the country.

So, it is very, very, convenient to switch the attack on the State Government and put country prize money and infrastructure at the forefront of the attack.

And yet, the argument and campaign is so blatantly disingenuous, it demands to be exposed for what it is.

PROBLEM 22

There is absolutely no/zero/nada chance that a cash-strapped State Government in a lead up to a State election would commit political suicide and adjust the tax rate and let go of the $85 or $100 million that Racing NSW claims it would benefit from if the Victorian tax rate were to be adopted- not when you have funding for schools, hospitals, roads and infrastructure, law enforcement and welfare at crisis levels- so much so that the NSW Government is doing its darndest to fast track asset sales to free up funds and minimize the pain in these areas and avert a crisis of catastrophic proportion.

To divert even a smidgin of these funds away from these areas would be an act of gross irresponsibility.

PROBLEM 23

The best that can be hoped for is a handout for the Championships – nothing more. And, of course, that would allow the wedge strategy to be again unleashed: “We would like to help you, but our hands are tied. The dastardly State Government won’t give us the tax relief to jack up your prize money and fix up your tracks”.

PROBLEM 24

The victims, as always, in political war games, are those who don’t deserve to be victims. And in NSW, it is a repetitive theme.

This time, it is the Country Sector of NSW racing.

So, while their better-off city counterparts enjoy competing in pitifully small Saturday fields for $80,000 prize money and for the obscene Championships prize money, country’s sample of the “50,000” participants race for racing’s equivalent of a can of diddly squat- and why they are- all together now- “eating the paint off the wall”.

PROBLEM 25

The uncomfortable and unpalatable reality is that it is not the responsibility of the State Government to fix the problem. Uh uh. That responsibility rests squarely with Racing NSW, which is why this issue will continue to fester while the war games with the State Government continue, and while NSW racing’s very own class warfare is waged to protect the interests and cash flows of the cashed-up metropolitan owners and breeders.

PROBLEM 26

————————————————–

NO WELCOME MAT FOR WALLER IN VICTORIA

Not Welcome! Doormat

The VRC may consider it a coup to have Chris Waller operating his Melbourne base out of Flemington, but from what we are hearing from over the border, some of his fellow trainers at his Melbourne base are not exactly rolling out the welcome mat for him and his twentyfivesomething boxes he has tenanted at Flemington.

PROBLEM 28

Some of Flemington and Victoria’s big names fear that the “wallernaut” and his extraordinary run of success will see them lose some of their “big” owners from Victoria and interstate.

PROBLEM 29

They fear a repeat of the Sydney scenario where Waller’s books hold several hundreds of horses and a domination of the high stakes metropolitan programmes.

PROBLEM 30

Just this week alone, Waller’s domination of Sydney metropolitan racing is obvious with three, four and five Waller runners in some races.

If the UK and European experience is any guide, such domination of racing by a powerful elite group of oligarchs is the very reason racing is struggling for its survival among mainstream Brits and Europeans.

Sadly NSW seems well on its way in a similar direction.

PROBLEM 31

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THE HKJC AND ITS MILLIONS DOLLAR BABY

MILLIONS DOLLAR 1

For years, many have been asking when or how there can be something for those of us, who, instead of making the pilgrimage “all the way” to Shatin- going to Kowloon if staying on Hong Kong side is seen as a pain in the arse as many of us are well and truly spoiled by being prisoners to convenience- don’t need to stray and, instead, take in a Sunday brunch at The Brasserie at the Conrad or force down that kebab from the night before, try to remember who the person is sleeping in your bed, and decide to go to the Happy Valley Racecourse, use its cross-betting facilities and piece together the events of the night before.

MILLIONS DOLLAR 2

Many swear by it- cross-betting- saying they can watch the races- and bet on them- “in peace” and in their time- and are able to clearly see who’s won what instead of a blur going across the line and different voices screaming out different numbers and names- “It’s three,” “No, it’s five”, “It’s Dougie”, “No, it’s Hugh” and still getting it all wrong by it being Alex Lai on the eight.

MILLIONS DOLLAR 3

With more and more preferring to stay in and watch the races from the comfort of their homes, the cross-betting experience is something to promote- and effectively- and with passion and not a yawn.

MILLIONS DOLLAR 4

Sure, money is money and as long as turnover is on the up and up, one can shrug their shoulders to attendance figures. But this is being short-sighted.

MILLIONS DOLLAR 5

The days, for example, of what local race-goers cutely referred to as “racing uncles”- those aging hardcore punters, very set in their ways and oblivious to venues, new technology and entertainment on racetracks- are numbered.

MILLIONS DOLLAR 6

They’re a captive market as are the white collar Big Punters who can bet from any of their “terminals” after deciding on their investment for the day and going for make or break.

MILLIONS DOLLAR 7

But then, in Hong Kong which provides the best racing experience in the world for different customer segments and with an eye on the future from which will be that next generation of Ronald Arcullis- and he looks to have a very good new one in Red Galileo- Cornel Lis, Sanford Yungs, even Stephen Los, David Boehms, the new Pan Sutongs- passionate racing enthusiasts and staunch supporters of the sport by investing in the best horsepower their money can buy- venues- and everything built around venues- is an extremely key component in the HKJC’s business strategy and where, like a chain, one’s strength is only as strong as its weakest link.

MILLIONS DOLLAR 8

These are also the times when nothing can be taken for granted and seeing what really sticks.

Millions, a venue at Happy Valley Racecourse, is, like Adrenaline and The Gallery and Hay Market in Shatin, something that should stick- and be promoted.

MILLIONS DOLLAR 9a

MILLIONS DOLLAR 9b

MILLIONS DOLLAR 10a

MILLIONS DOLLAR 10b

We have no idea how long Millions has been around, but we- and many others there last night to enjoy a more scaled down Happy Wednesday with the city course being closed for various overhauls for the better, and able to cross-bet without hauling ass to Shatin on a weekday for just eight races- came away talking about what could be.

MILLIONS DOLLAR 11a

MILLIONS DOLLAR 11b

What we find baffling is that a venue like this is not even promoted.

MILLIONS DOLLAR 12

Like Hay Market, these venues are opened- and just stay there, over-shadowed by the importance placed on wagering.

If so, why bother with progress and is “enhancing the customer experience” just a nice soundbite?

MILLIONS DOLLAR 13

Millions has been a million dollar secret and, hopefully, after FINALLY being put to use- good use- with a great Happy Wednesday cross-betting night, here is a meeting place for those following the races to have a bet and win and with others coming in to understand more about a sport that still does not have top-of-mind awareness.

MILLIONS DOLLAR 14

MILLIONS DOLLAR 15

MILLIONS DOLLAR 16

With a huge balcony area- big enough for different buffet spreads, a barbecue and all the space to take in the night air and a short walk to betting counters, the stage area for ‘live’ music where Ben Semmens and his backing band were performing- and what a brilliant new Slash-type guitarist has joined the outfit, just signed to Universal Music, and with tours of Scandinavia and the US lined up- and, of course, as with anything, having room for improvement and missing The Cool Factor.

MILLIONS DOLLAR 17

MILLIONS DOLLAR 18

MILLIONS DOLLAR 19

Yes, Virginia, horse racing desperately needs at least ONE venue with this Cool Factor.

MILLIONS DOLLAR 20

Bunging in a TVB Jade variety show and trying to be all things to all people often means some very good venues having no brand personality and, therefore, attracting a mish-mash- or local mosh pit- where there are many pieces- but where nothing fits as Cool cannot be taught- certainly not to racing club executives, many of whom are still Staying Alive with the Bee Gees.

MILLIONS DOLLAR 21

Bottom line: Cross-betting should be promoted- the joys of cross-betting- and not fobbed off as something for “racing uncles”.

MILLIONS DOLLAR 22

Cross-betting at Millions? A winner waiting to happen next season- on a regular basis- and part and parcel of an ongoing marketing program as opposed to another ad hoc promotional event.

MILLIONS DOLLAR 23

As we keep saying, promotional events come and go and have no staying power.

Bona fide marketing programs is ammunition for the future and where many racing clubs desperately need to raise their game as they’re still not in sync with those who have discovered the joys of of a dating app like Tinder, a brilliant new band like The Struts, how, where and why to use Instagram and that there’s life after the Bee Gees.

MILLIONS DOLLAR 24

MILLIONS DOLLAR 25

MILLIONS DOLLAR 26

© Racingb*tch 2014
All Rights Reserved
No part of this website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials.

Posted in Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing | Leave a comment