Whyte, Tips, Macau, Shatin

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

STARTERS

Shatin 1

Gawd no! Robbie Fradd and his crab-like side saddle riding style is said to be contemplating a career kick-start in Oz. We thought he’d vanished after that sudden alley oop from Singapore’s riding ranks and those battering ram tales from Hong Kong. Not someone we’d be going to bat for anytime soon.

Shatin 2

Here we thought the reason for the ‘live’ music at the Beer Garden ending way too early and creating an exodus outta the venue had to do with complaints from nearby residents.

Shatin 3

Now, we hear, all that activity at the Beer Garden gets in the way of the security truck driving in and the night’s financial haul having to be moved into it. But, this only became a problem in the past month??? Something doesn’t make sense.

Shatin 4

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THE WHYTE FACTOR

Shatin 5

Not that he’s in any hurry to ride off into the sunset singing Happy Trails, but Douglas Whyte turned back the hands of time last Wednesday at Happy Valley when he used his considerable guile on Beauty King to edge out Zac Purton on Gun Point- Purton being an extremely good jockey, but with The Champ, this time, outsmarting The Kid.

Shatin 6

This was vintage Douglas Whyte and a ride talked about way after the last race had been run on social media, by racing executives and some very learned racing people.

Shatin 7

In case anyone has been living under a rock for the past decade, Douglas Whyte is a very special jockey who has been a great champion for thirteen successive years- the consummate professional with everything one expects from a champion, and with this incredible reign at the top of the Gomer Pyle coming to an end this season.

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It will be the end of an era and many will be singing those Joni Mitchell words, “Don’t it always seem to go/That you don’t really know what you’ve got/Till it’s gone” as Hong Kong will never see a reign like this and all the plots and sub-plots that have gone with it and how cream always rises to the top.

Shatin 19

It’s hoped that the HKJC does the right thing and honours and thanks Whyte without reining it in through some lop-sided thinking that “it won’t be right to single out any one particular jockey.”

Shatin 20

Sorry, but, to coin a phrase from that self-imposing Walla Walla fat kid of racing in Australia- puhleeeeze- that won’t wash as Douglas Whyte is no ordinary jockey and his track record speaks for itself.

Shatin 21

One can only have fingers and balls firmly crossed that any efforts to thank Whyte for services rendered above and beyond the call of duty are not reciprocated by handing him a silver plate, which the legendary Felix Coetzee received on his last day of riding in Hong Kong, whereas Champion jockey Basil Marcus- before the Douglas Whyte juggernaut took over- was given a “rousing farewell” on his final day of riding here- after the last race had been run and race-goers were rushing for their trains, planes and automobiles to get them home.

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For the past three years, we have been campaigning for Whyte to be included in the Guinness Book Of World Record where his many achievements would be eligible and have part of Hong Kong’s racing history in this publication.

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With its army of staffers, highly-paid executives whose jobs often look to be re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, one would have thought this would have happened by now. But, hell no, with even the rider’s Wikipedia page being a feeble mish-mash of outdated factoids.

Shatin 26

At a time when so much emphasis is being placed by the HKJC- streets ahead of any other racing club in the world in every single area of racing- to upgrade and enhance everything- different venues to provide different customer segments with a better racing experience- those who dismiss this as “entertainment crap” better just stay with the nickel and dime racing tragics and pokies in Oz- new wagering options, bona fide marketing as opposed to glorified promotions- it beggars belief that a tangible USP for the Club like Douglas Whyte keeps being filed in the Too Hard basket and is flippantly under-utilized in so many areas where we see lost oompah loompahs feverishly working away and producing zero results.

Shatin 27

Nice work if these Ooompah Loompahs can get it and some have been getting away with it by flying under the radar for way too long- which is an Olympian-sized story for another day, and set to let fly very soon.

Shatin 28

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THE ANNUAL HK-MACAU DWARF THROWING INTERPORT

Shatin 29

It wasn’t until we received an email saying that the “Hong Kong horses will definitely beat the Macau horses” that we even realized it was time again yesterday for the first round of the annual dwarf throwing championships aka the Hong Kong-Macau Interport.

Shatin 30

Years ago, there was the Hong Kong-Singapore series, which got the bullet after about three years, but this barely promoted event with the Macau Jockey Club plods along with Hong Kong sending over some of its lesser lights to compete with barely average horses from Macau with a certain circus-like atmosphere to it all and side bets as to what hideous outfit Angela Ho, head of the MJC and powerful Number 4 wife of casino tycoon Stanley Ho, might wear.

We hear that Angie, baby did good this year and didn’t overdo her usual sartorial eyesore of things like Chanel mixed with Hello Kitty boots.

Shatin 31

It’s obvious the HKJC would rather not be part of this farce, but “history” seems to demand this token gesture along with the inconvenient truth that many of Hong Kong’s owners have various ties with Macau- and, let’s not try and hide it- the Macau Jockey Club and the dark side of the former Portuguese enclave.

Shatin 32

And so, Hong Kong sent over some horses and races were run and won with Hong Kong’s five entries filling the top five positions in the day’s big Cup race- talk about a procession- with the spoils going to the Caspar Fownes-trained and Joao Moreira-ridden The Name Is Bond.

Shatin 33

All very jolly, but with today’s races at Shatin, who really cared about crossing the great waters to watch processions other than that very silent minority who wanted some picnic racing to while away their Saturday afternoon and then have a Happy Ending at Darling before catching a helicopter and returning home with E.T. from the Dark Side Of The Moon?

Shatin 34

As for the simultaneous broadcast of the races from Macau, we can only presume this was screened on that mysterious “ATV HD” channel that few know about as there was nada coverage on the goofy ATV World terrestrial channel.

Shatin 35

When we called two Hong Kong trainers to ask when these races were on, the replies were classic: “Today, I think.”

No, no, we continued, What time and on WHAT channel?

“No idea, mate, which shows you how important they are. Wanna meet for a drink at the Blue Bar?”

Shatin 36

It was left to the following twittering dialogue which left us none the wiser other than to think, what another waste of money.

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It’s really starting to remind us of the movie, What If They Won The War And No One Came, but with this farce being, What If They Broadcasted A Race Meeting And No One Saw It.

Apparently, tonight, there will be another “stimulcast” from France- The Prix du Jockey- which will be on some channel somewhere at 10.15pm. Just back Shamikyr and check the results tomorrow.

Stay in for one race with a whole heapa channel surfing going on when it’s a Public Holiday tomorrow, pourquoi?

Shatin 39

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THE FAST TRACKER MARCHES IN BUCK NAKED AND TOTALLY UNPREPARED

With Hong Kong once again having to call on re-enforcements to prop up its riding ranks that are currently depleted through suspensions and injuries, it makes things even tougher for punters.

Shatin 40

After all, no matter how good these riders may be, as in tennis or cricket or football, they need time to get their eye in.

When riding Group 1 horses, maybe not so much time is needed, but when legged aboard Class 3 and 4 conveyances, not even a fine jockey like Sydney’s Christian Reith, below- and jeez, Hong Kong is lucky to have him until the end of the season- or could he return next season?- can be asked to immediately perform miracles.

Shatin 41

Anyway, this is how it is, it should never have got to this tipping point, but with almost a Hong Kong Invitation Riders meeting on show today and Douglas Whyte out through a suspension, we’re left trying to be form students, but also mind readers when it comes to jockey bookings.

R1 JUST MISTERE/ELEGANT FRAMES/TIME WINNER/PJ HALL

Should be a lethal Zac Attack in a weak opener to the day.

Shatin 42

R2 OXFORD CHARLEY/MARTIAL KING/CHINA DELIGHT/TERRIFIC MASTER

Another watching brief as another group of average horses go round and with the only point of interest for me is seeing if one of Tony Cruz’s two runners- Martial King (Moreira) and Terrific Master (Purton) can take this out and keep in the Trainers Premiership Race.

Shatin 43

R3 SUGAR/MELLIFLUENT

Apart from Sugar with Moreira up, I can’t see anything else winning this with Hughie Bowman aboard Mellifluent giving him a little competition.

Shatin 44

R4 POWER BLITZ/ORIENTAL FANTASIA/LIFE OF BEAUTY/PUBLIC FIGURE

The first leg of the huge Triple Trio Jackpot up for grabs and a real nightmare of a race as every horse running is VERY ordinary and with such inconsistent “form”.

Shatin 45

The last run by Power Blitz when ridden by Karis Teetan and making ground from off-the-pace for a third over course and distance- on a track with give in it- was solid and with Olivier Delouze up today, it should run into the top three.

Shatin 46

Tim Clark aka The Hobbit has been called up to prop up Hong Kong’s thin riding ranks and could also run into a placing on the David Hall-trained Bamboo Dance.

Shatin 47

After a frustrating few weeks having to deal with contaminated feed that affected a number of its runners, the Hall stable seems ready to make up for lost time as seen by the win of Bundle Of Joy on Wednesday, my Best Bet for the night.

Shatin 48

As for this race, I’d rather buy a Lucky Triple Trio ticket and hope for the best as this race is a bloody nightmare.

Shatin 49

R5 VARA PEARL/LUCKY WARRIOR

Many big punters got badly burnt when Vara Pearl lost at its last start in a race that wasn’t run to suit it, but, today, with Joao Moreira taking over from Vincent Ho, and perfectly drawn, it should make amends.

Shatin 50

Quartet- Multiple banker Vara Pearl onto 1,2,3,4,6,8,10.

Shatin 51

R6 LUCKY SCEPTER/YO-YO DA/TRAK/SPLENDID DAYS

Olivier Doleuze takes over from apprentice Dickie Lui on Lucky Scepter which has been going close without winning.

A senior rider might help, but the additional weight and two hard runs could also see it put in a shocker.

Shatin 52

Two first starters- Splendid Days and Star Trak- though having various lameness issues make late seasonal debuts- with Dougie Whyte having done all the work on the former.

Hughie Bowman rides it today and one has to wonder if it’s ready as Whyte rarely gets off a good one and could have deferred his suspension to ride this and Khaya, later in the card if they were winning chances.

Shatin 53

Then again, with his daughter in town and being the family man that he is, he could have decided that spending time with his favorite girl comes first.

Shatin 54

R7 REDWOOD BABY/GALLANT TRIUMPH/WHAT YOU DREAM

Redwood Baby has won at short odds and disappointed at short odds and, here it is, again, at very short odds and should take this out with Moreira aboard.

Shatin 55

The dangers could be the ride of Zac Purton- Gallant Triumph- which should suit the mile perfectly whereas Andy Suborics has been doing a great deal of work on Why Not with which he has struck a strong partnership.

Shatin 56

R8 ADDOLE/GENEROUS BOBO/WELL DONE/WINFULL PATROL

Key Witness toyed with Addole and gave it false hope, but still, running second to the boom galloper should be good enough to take this out. Brett Prebble takes over from the recuperating Matthew Chadwick and followers will be hoping for a ride with all the determination the Aussie rider showed to get Distinct Commander home last week.

Shatin 57

R9 FURIO/DIVINE DIYA/BERLINI/LONGWAH SUPREME

One of those Uh Oh races where if Furio, Divine Diya, or, maybe, Ka Ying Kid, fail for whatever reason, outsiders could take over with Berlini being HUGE value at 12s along with Mega Champion at 25s.

Shatin 58

R10 TRAVEL BROTHER/KHAYA

Khaya just keeps disappointing and, today, with Douglas Whyte on the suspension list, Moreira takes over on the John Size-trained galloper racing down a class, new head gear- a tiara- and over 1600m and not the 1800m its tackled at its last few starts.

Shatin 59

It might just make amends though it has a VERY good one to beat in Travel Brother, one of three John Moore runners in the race and with Tommy Berry up.

Shatin 60

As this is the second quartet race in the card, I’ll be taking Travel Brother and Khaya as double multiple bankers and separate win backers with 1,3,5,9,10,13 as legs.

Shatin 61

BEST BET R10 TRAVEL BROTHER
NEXT BEST R9 DIVINE DIYA
LONGSHOT R4 ORIENTAL FANTASIA
LAY R6 SPLENDID DAYS
JOCKEY CHALLENGE JOAO MOREIRA

Shatin 62

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SARIKA’S HOT SIX UP

Shatin 63

R5: 3-4-7
R6: 1-6-11
R7: 4
R8: 9-12
R9: 5-7-11-12
R10: 2

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Selections for Sha Tin from Third Dividend

Shatin 65

SHA TIN (HKG)
Sun 1.6.14
Day Races @HKJC_Racing
Turf (“A” Course)
Weather: Mainly fine apart from isolated showers in the morning. Very hot
during the day with a maximum temperature of around 33 degrees. Light to
moderate south to southwesterly winds.
Source: http://www.hko.gov.hk/contente.htm

Race 1: TING KAU HANDICAP, 01/06/2014, 12:45, Class 5, Turf, “A+3″
Course, 1200m, Good To Firm
1 – Just Mistere (3)
2 – P J Hall (5)
3 – Spectacular Reward (12)
4 – Archer’s Bow (9)

Race 2: SILVERSTRAND HANDICAP, 01/06/2014, 13:15, Class 4, Turf, “A+3″
Course, 1800m, Good To Firm
1 – China Delight (5)
2 – Oxford Charley (3)
3 – Malayan Pearl (1)
4 – Terrific Master (10)

Race 3: KIU TSUI HANDICAP, 01/06/2014, 13:45, Class 4, Turf, “A+3″
Course, 1000m, Good To Firm
1 – Melifluent (7)
2 – Sugar (2)
3 – Ishvara (6)
4 – Flashing Guy (9)

Race 4: TONG FUK HANDICAP, 01/06/2014, 14:15, Class 5, Turf, “A+3″
Course, 1600m, Good To Firm
1 – Life Of Beauty (2)
2 – Power Blitz (5)
3 – Winning Advantage (6)
4 – Happy Kaiser (3)

Race 5: SILVERMINE BAY HANDICAP, 01/06/2014, 15:05, Class 4, Turf, “A+3″
Course, 1400m, Good To Firm
1 – Vara Pearl (7)
2 – Oscar Miracle (3)
3 – Lucky Warrior (4)
4 – Good Fit (8)

Race 6: PUI O HANDICAP, 01/06/2014, 15:35, Class 4, Turf, “A+3″ Course,
1200m, Good To Firm
1 – Lucky Scepter (1)
2 – Star Track (9)
3 – Splendid Days (8)
4 – Ray Of Gold (14)

Race 7 (Q1): HAP MUN BAY HANDICAP, 01/06/2014, 16:05, Class 3, Turf, “A
+3″ Course, 1600m, Good To Firm
1 – Redwood Baby (4)
2 – Graceful Kingdom (8)
3 – What You Dream (5)
4 – Gallant Triumph (1)

Race 8 (Q2): CHEUNG SHA HANDICAP, 01/06/2014, 16:35, Class 3, Turf, “A+3″
Course, 1200m, Good To Firm
1 – Addole (9)
2 – Generous Bobo (12)
3 – Psychologist (14)
4 – Winfull Patrol (5)

Race 9 (Q3): CLEAR WATER BAY HANDICAP, 01/06/2014, 17:10, Class 3, Turf,
“A+3″ Course, 1400m, Good To Firm
1 – Ka Ying Kid (9)
2 – Berlini (13)
3 – Jun Gong (1)
4 – Pablosky (4)

Race 10 (Q4): CAFETERIA HANDICAP, 01/06/2014, 17:45, Class 2, Turf, “A+3″
Course, 1600m, Good To Firm
1 – Travel Brother (2)
2 – Packing LLaregyb (10)
3 – Ho In One (9)
4 – Kabayan (1)

BEST BET
Race 5: Vara Pearl (7)

NEXT BEST
Race 3: Melifluent (7)

VALUE BET
Race 9: Ka Ying Kid (9) – Currently, $4.20/$2.50

LONG SHOT
Race 6: Jaeger Bomb (6) – Currently, $14.00/$3.40

QUADDIE ($100 gets you 208%)
4.5.8
5.9.12.14
9.13
2.10

SIX UP
7
1.8.94
5.9.12.14
9.13
2.10

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SELECTIONS FROM THE BIG APPLE (@SW064351)

big apple 4

BEST BET
Race 10, No. 10 Packing Llaregyb
Won under a big weight last time. Can make it three on the trot.

SECOND BEST
Race 5, No. 7 Vara Pearl
Made up a stack of ground after missing the start. Set to make amends.

LONGSHOT
Race 6, No. 13 Golden Gunners
Endured a tough run in his previous start. An improved showing wouldn’t surprise.

QUADDIE
2,4,5,8 / 9,12,14 / 5,8,13 / 2,10. $50 for 69.44%.

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PARTING SHOT

Shatin 64

© Racing B*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 DOUGLAS WHYTE, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, JOHN MOORE, JOHN SIZE, www.fasttrack.hk, zac purton | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CALIFORNIA DREAMING AND RACING NSW’S ONGOING NIGHTMARES

A REAL CALIFORNIA DREAM

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Racing’s timeless ability to connect with people- racing and non-racing folk alike- and its extraordinary resilience in the face of adversity and challenge, knows no bounds.

The heart and soul of racing- in commercial terms its USP- has always been the horse. And champion racehorses at that.

With each and every champion comes a defining narrative – a story that is always unique.

Some of the stories of champions can be very, very raw. Others are laced with overcoming the odds, about beating adversity. Then there are those which are just pure fairy tales.

Collectively they are the reason why racing captures the headlines and remains relevant in an amazingly dysfunctional and non-stop, peak hour world.

In recent years, across the key racing global jurisdictions- Europe, Australia, Asia and America- we’ve been fortunate and privileged to have experienced- up-close and personal- the extraordinary and amazing racecourse deeds of Frankel, Black Caviar, Silent Witness, and now California Chrome.

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Yes, this time it’s the turn of the United States and enter California Chrome, the three year old colt, out of nowhere and his coterie of owner, Steve Coburn, trainer Art Sherman and jockey Victor Espinoza.

NIGHTMARES 6

They’ve been around a long time. One or two of them longer than the Mamas and Papas- and Mama Cass died decades ago.

Next weekend, California Chrome will attempt to be part of racing history when he lines up in the Belmont Stakes – the third and final leg of the coveted American Three Year old Triple Crown, having won the first two legs – the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in dazzling style, endearing himself to the hundreds of thousands of racing fans in their record numbers who have attended both race meetings.

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Like Black Caviar, Frankel and Silent Witness before him, California Chrome has crossed the invisible barrier into the hearts and minds of ordinary and extraordinary Americans and made himself a cult hero.

NIGHTMARES 9

If he wins the Belmont Stakes, he will be first horse since Affirmed captured the Triple Crown way back in 1978, and only the twelfth in Triple Crown history. And yes, the crowds will go wild if the “People’s Horse” can do it.

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And if the first two victory legs are any indication, then racing and non-racing fans in the States and the world over are in for a treat- first from owner Steve Coburn, who comes across as one of those real larger than life characters of racing who doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

NIGHTMARES 13

Coburn who works in a Nevada factory which produces magnetic strips for credit cards and hotel keys, and his co-owner Perry Martin, bought an unspectacularly-bred mare- Love the Chase- for $8000, and put her to a very modestly-bred and performed stallion named Lucky Pulpit at a bargain fee of $2500. They probably paid overs for a stallion who had won just three of his twenty two race starts.

“When I saw this baby, when he was a day old, I told my wife Carolyn, this horse is going to do something big. I don’t know what it is, but we’re going to stay in the game to make sure this colt gets to be the best that he can be. I’ve been a firm believer in that ever since and he’s not proven me wrong”, Coburn told Reuters.

“He loves people, and loves what he does, and that’s why he is America’s horse. In my opinion, this horse, what he’s done for two guys that work their butts off every day just to put beans and bacon on the table- this horse has given everyone out there the incentive to say, ‘You know what? We can do it also’.

“It may not be a race horse. It may be the idea that they have in their head a new product or whatever the case may be. We just hope this horse is letting America know that the little guy can win”.

NIGHTMARES 14

Coburn’s philosophy epitomizes the impact that champion racehorses have on both the racing and non-racing public. And together with California Chrome’s septuagenarian trainer Art Sherman they are racing’s best friend.

NIGHTMARES 15

The 77 year old Sherman comes across as very much a self-effacing American. “After I won the Kentucky Derby, I said ‘Wow, all of a sudden I feel like Willie Nelson, the old rock star coming through the airport. So I’m getting kind of used to it. Sometimes I need to take my little siesta for about an hour. I call it just charging my battery a little and then I’m okay”.

Champion racehorses like Black Caviar, Frankel, Silent Witness, and now, California Chrome- and his very quotable and affable owner and trainer- have been and are the catalysts which drive racing into territories that only these magnificent equine athletes can take racing into.

They are “people’s champions”, and keep racing alive in the hearts and minds of entire nations and in the world.

Long may we be privileged to witness their deeds.

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CHAMPIONSHIPS’ FUNDING CAMPAIGN (YAWN) CONTINUES TO RAGE

NIGHTMARES 17

The relentless campaign by Racing NSW mouthpiece – the Daily Telegraph, aka the Daily “Smellygraph”- continues unabated.

NIGHTMARES 18

In an interesting tactic, John Lehmann, the paper’s editor-at-large, whatever that means, has his name on the by-line of the story – whatever happened to Racing NSW bestie fearless Ray Thomas?

Even our mate Christian Nicowhatever has had the balls to come out in his column,“At The Track”, and dared to distance himself from the Racing NSW and Daily “Smellygraph” campaign to take on the Baird Government and get another $100 million into the coffers of the NSW racing industry. Good on him.

NIGHTMARES 19

“ Believe it or not, At The Track would prefer the $100 million remain in the government coffers and be allocated to education and health”.

NIGHTMARES 20

Funny about that, Christian, and spot on as it’s actually exactly what the overwhelming majority in the community thinks, and not just in NSW.

NIGHTMARES 21

Look no further than every single poll which has been conducted since Australia’s most horrendous nightmare budget for conclusive evidence that Racing NSW and their mouthpiece are completely and hopelessly out of touch with the community and the pollies and more importantly the mood of the public and community.

NIGHTMARES 22

Respected veteran racing journalist Ken Callander in his column in the “smellygraph” bought into it, commenting that despite the $10 million shortfall from the Government, and the inequity of the State Government taxation take between Victoria and NSW, the Championships can still be maintained as a great racing event.

“The relevant question is did Racing NSW commit to the Championships without a guarantee of more than one year’s funding? So let’s get on with it, I reckon I can chop off the spending for this year’s Championships with five minutes work”.

Kenny then details savings of around $2 million – savings which clearly make sense, and without even applying the razor to the obscene prize money for some of the feature races – one of which- the Queen Elizabeth Stakes- is grossly excessive with its $4 million extravagant prize tag, and which thanks to It’s A Dundeel, finished up in the pockets of the Arrowfield syndicate headed by Racing NSW Chairman John “the messiah” Messara, which owns the champion racehorse. And hasn’t THAT caused plenty of unfair “side of the mouth” scuttlebutt commentary from, amongst others, some of the “messiah’s” fellow Hunter Valley mates!

NIGHTMARES 23

By our reckoning, you could conservatively slash another $3 million without blinking an eye off the feature race prize money and attract the same quality field sizes, same wagering, and the same hype.

So where would the other $5 million come from?

Enter the Breeders Levy. Remember it?

The Breeders Levy, proposed some time ago, and the silence around it which is deafening in recent times.

Our clear recollection is that it was never ruled out by the power brokers and decision makers in Racing NSW.

In fact, the reported response in the media went along the lines of “it’s something that we will look at”.

Well, boys and girls, that time is NOW.

NIGHTMARES 24

Isn’t it about time our “passionate” Hunter breeders, some of whom regularly export millions of Aussie dollars to their home bases in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the States, made a legitimate contribution to the NSW racing industry – the industry which has bequeathed them tens of millions in recent years?

NIGHTMARES 25

Should they not contribute to the industry the same way owners do- and even the pari-mutuel operators and corporate bookmakers do?

NIGHTMARES 26

Would this whole package not be a more rational and practical and feasible way of funding the Championships black hole rather than berating the State Government for not irresponsibly writing out a cheque for $10 million, or for lowering the tax take at a time when health, education and infrastructure, rightfully, are prioritized by Premier Mike Baird, at a time of desperate and legitimate need?

NIGHTMARES 27

Like the rest of the Australian racing community, we are sick and tired and totally over the constant call to arms by Pinnochio Vlundies and his mates whenever they get NO as an answer.

NIGHTMARES 28

It’s always “my way or the highway”, and it’s the NSW racing industry that suffers- along with the “50,000” participants-whose cause is frequently and monotonously the martyred catch cry from Druitt Street.

NIGHTMARES 29

Has anyone reminded the Racing NSW Board how much more can be achieved for racing through negotiation, conciliation, compromise and good faith, rather than expensive and often wasteful litigation, and equally expensive “spin” campaigns?

NIGHTMARES 30

Sadly, in NSW, there seems to be an addiction to resort to conflict and litigation as a dispute resolution mechanism in a kinda weird Ramboesque manner.

NIGHTMARES 31

Is it any wonder that the NSW racing industry is so friendless in the corridors of power?

The best gift that the Baird Government can bestow to the NSW racing industry is to shake up the governing body.

It’s bloody long, long overdue.

NIGHTMARES 32

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WANTED; A LITERATE NUMBERS PERSON.

NIGHTMARES 33

This time, the NSW racing industry is in dire need of an independent, credible and respected numbers person to once and for all bury the embarrassing, misleading and fabricated arguments surrounding the untested and largely “Alice in Wonderland” claims about the economic benefits of The Championships to the NSW state economy.

NIGHTMARES 34

The Championships may well turn out to provide economic benefits to the NSW state economy, but that time is a very long, long, long time into the distant future.

NIGHTMARES 35

Comparing the potential economic benefits of the Championships with the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is not only ludicrous, but belongs to a routine befitting the Sydney Comedy Festival.

If The Championships can only attract 25,000 odd crowds on each of the two Saturdays- and given Randwick’s 50,000 odd capacity- how can they compete with the economic benefits generated by combined crowds of 350,000 over four race days in the week, which attracts visitors from all Australian states and overseas?

NIGHTMARES 36

We’ll say it again: The Championships aka the Sydney Autumn Carnival needs to get back to its Easter format, add another race day and add the Sydney Easter Sales to the week and make it a week of elite racing again.

And while on the subject of mischievous and misleading statements and claims – whoever (and we are sure we know who)-provided John Lehmann with the information that, “the VRC is believed to receive more than $20 million to assist staging the four days around the Melbourne Cup”, is in need of an all expenses paid holiday in Pyongyang in North Korea.

NIGHTMARES 37

Surely there needs to be a disincentive against perpetuating myths – urban or otherwise?

NIGHTMARES 38

Posted in Australian horse racing industry, BLACK CAVIAR, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, Peter V'landys | Leave a comment

HONG KONG AND THE HKJC RECEIVE THE MUSICAL GIFT OF HOME

Home 1

Home  (SoundCloud)

Apart from the comical chop suey of a song made famous in the Sixties called “Kowloon Hong Kong” by a female group from the Philippines named The Reynettes, there have only been songs ely through movies like “Love Is A Many Splendoured Thing” and the goofy Chinatown novelty of “The Ding Dong Song” and the Frankie Lane hit, “Rose Rose, I Love You,” which was an English adaptation of a Mandarin song.

Home 3

Home 4

That’s about to change with the release of Home.

Written by music executive Hans Ebert and singer-songwriter Ben Semmens, below, the song is a musical dedication to their home- Hong Kong- and the spirit and resilience of the people and the city.

Home 5

Home  (SoundCloud)

It’s also a song to people with a love for their homes wherever they may be in the world.

Says Ebert, be glas Whyte, champion Hong Kong jockey for thirteen consecutive years, “The song is our gift to our home- Hong Kong- and, on its 130th Anniversary, also our gift to the Hong Kong Jockey Club that, through its Charities division, does more for this city than many realize.”

Home 6

With his close association as an Advisor to the HKJC and role in enhancing the Club’s successful Happy Wednesday brand, and being an award-winning advertising executive for his work to raise public consciousness about everything from AIDS to the Right Of Abode for minority groups in Hong Kong before the 1997 Handover, Ebert has been a strong advocate of “giving back” to the city.

Home 7

As for Ben Semmens, who a nally for a three-month residency at Happy Valley Racecourse’s Happy Wednesday evenings at the Adrenaline and Beer Garden venues, this has turned into a two-year stay.

Home 8

“Hong Kong’s my adopted home and I’ll be forever grateful to the Jockey Club for taking a chance on a guy from a small town in Cardiff in Wales and putting him in front of tens of thousands of people every Wednesday night at the Happy Valley Racecourse.

Home 9

Adds Semmens: “There are so many games going on where new artists are conned into playing for free at events and organizers dangling the promotional carrot about performing to ‘industry leader and what the HKJC has helped me achieve will, hopefully, be seen as a game changer in the way new music talent can be promoted.”

Apart from the song, an accompanying video will be produced soon.

The theme of the song “Home” will be taken further through an inter-active social media campaign where people will be invited to create their own videos for the song, and send in poems, photos, paintings, thoughts, stories about what home means to them.

Says Ebert: “The song is the first step in what we see as an ongoing theme that will evolve into something much bigger and, hopefully, brings together people and stories of their homes from around the world onto a much bigger platform.”

Posted in DOUGLAS WHYTE, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

RACING CLUBS AND WINNING OVER THE NEW AND NEXT GENERATION OF RACING FAN

Every racing club in the world realize that they simply cannot continue catering only to its captive market- captive being exactly what it is and with very little upside when it comes to growth potential in the area of- what else?- wagering.

RACING FAN 1

Yes, this captive market is still important, but it’s, usually, also an aging market, set in its ways, and happy to continue the way they have been going for two-three decades.

RACING FAN 2

As with any industry needing to connect with new consumers in this social media and DIY world that has, for example, seen the lunatics take over the asylum, there is much racing clubs can learn from the hard rains of change that have almost drowned the music industry.

RACING FAN 3

Today, for example, one-time hardcore hip hop artists and rappers signed for peanuts by savvy white music execs like Lyor Cohen to a label like Def Jam, have grasped that opportunity, joined forces and taken over the industry almost overnight.

RACING FAN 4

Jay Z, Diddy aka Sean Combes and Dr Dre have cleverly moved from the streets to uptown having traded in their baseball caps and baggies for impeccably cut suits and big business while the rock bands have kept rocking in the free world while being blind-sided by those who were once thought to be content being in their “gangstas paradise.”

RACING FAN 5

Never underestimate anyone as technology and New Thinking has given Gen Y, or the New Millennia, extra clout where the power is in their hands and any attempts to try and win them over in some hokey corporate way will be laughed off the face of the nearest social media platform.

RACING FAN 6

And so it is with horse racing where every racing club has a new customer strategy in place. Or do they?

A strategy to win over any new customer segment cannot be done in boardrooms and second-guessing based on something someone has read.

RACING FAN 7

It has to be done by being PART of this customer segment and understanding what works, what doesn’t- and key- who and what will be accepted and who and what will never be accepted due to their lack of credibility.

RACING FAN 8

Those days when anyone over thirty was not to be trusted and there were George Harrison’s Piggies “with their little piggy wives” still exist today- but in different guises where hippie dippy Flower Power ramblings are with an affluent, well-educated generation who view those trying to sell them anything with the same suspicions of the young generations before them.

RACING FAN 9

For racing clubs, the end game is wagering and winning over new members who have got their feet wet, and novice punters on the periphery wondering whether to participate and engage in the sport or go elsewhere, requires The Patience of Job- no, no, not Steve Jobs, but Job, the dude in the bible- and the The Wisdom Of Solomon.

RACING FAN 10

In Hong Kong, the HKJC’s Happy Wednesday brand offers this customer segment with its sub-divisions Choice- choice of venues and choice of activities that can lead them into another choice; a choice types of bets.

RACING FAN 11

Of course, what’s key is how to ease this market into wagering.

Try to force-feed them and they’ll choke on it, spit it out and never return for a second serving.

They have options, racing clubs don’t.

RACING FAN 12

What the HKJC has cleverly done is opening venues at the Happy Valley and Shatin Racecourses to facilitate these different customer segments from the same Mothership.

RACING FAN 13

RACING FAN 14

Hay Market 1

RACING FAN 15

It’s a horses for courses strategy: Offer this customer segment a lifestyle experience at the race courses in Happy Valley and Shatin through venues, each one with its own appeal.

As we mentioned here recently, venues are often the initial magnet needed to get newbies to the races- a meeting place and a melting pot of like-minded people who can absorb the sport and understand the ways of winning- in comfort- as part and parcel of their social life.

RACING FAN 16

From what we know, where racing clubs go horribly wrong are in their communication skills and what we call a “cocktail party” mindset where get-togethers with new members etc are arranged, but with everything coming across forced, awkward and with no one quite knowing what is expected of them.

RACING FAN 17

Being great believers in those new to racing meeting the main attractions of the sport- the jockeys- and, through them, understanding what it takes to be a success in this sport, a casual conversation recently with champion Hong Kong jockey Douglas Whyte

RACING FAN 18

Facing a two-day suspension and, for the first time, having seen the spectacular Hay Market venue at Shatin, Whyte, with time on his hands, mentioned being more than happy to have lunch there along with us- ON A RACE DAY- and our friends, who, though are new racing members, are still to understand anything more than a win/place bet.

Hay Market 2

It made more than a little sense: Friends, at the races together, in a venue of their choice and with Dougie Whyte sitting with them and sharing his knowledge of each race that day and the various betting choices available,

RACING FAN 19

What can be better than this?
Anyone have a better way of racing “edutainment” than in this “chillaxed” atmosphere and minus any hardcore corporate speak?

RACING FAN 20

Posted in DOUGLAS WHYTE, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, The horse racing industry | 1 Comment

DESIGNS ON WINNING

Well, no one can say that horse racing is pedestrian or predictable- especially after all that did and did not transpire at sun kissed Shatin on Sunday.

DESIGNS 1

Of course, the Dark Star of the day was when $1.20 favorite for the Champions and Chater Cup- Designs On Rome- an over-the-line special to so many so many days in advance and set to be one of the best stayers in the world, knocked up faster than a Kardashian by a basketball player.

DESIGNS 2

It ran like a tired horse simply needing a break much like us human beings needing a break from all that Kanye West-Kim Kardashian wedding ballyhoo.

KIMYE WEDDING 2

Designs On Rome was so over it, it didn’t even run a place; it plodded home fifth looking for the nearest bar with Blazing Speed taking out the race for the unlikely team of Tony Cruz and Neil Callan, which is as weird sounding as talking about a song written by Michael Jackson and Rolf Harris.

DESIGNS 3

But win the new C team did, and it was a huge coup for the Macau-born trainer and former champion Hong Kong jockey and the tough Irish jockey to take out this Group 1 race.

DESIGNS 4

Did they receive the deserved kudos? Not really. It was a Rodney Dangerfield moment.

DESIGNS 5

The parochial pettiness of some in the peanut gallery of horse racing never fails to amaze us, but all kudos to Cruzy and, especially, Callan whose tough, give-no-inch style of riding has won him supporters, has had him incur the wrath of the Furio Stewards, and on Sunday, the sun bathed him in Group 1 glory.

It’s been one helluva riding stint in Hong Kong and we’re glad Callan’s stuck it out, taken the good with the bad and, on Sunday, produced a VERY good ride- as good as anything produced by Hong Kong’s top three riders.

DESIGNS 6

Elsewhere on the card, Aussie Zac Purton rode like a man possessed and pursued by the zealousness of Kim Kardashian and racked up a brilliant four-timer including the fifth consecutive win for the Paul O’Sullivan-trained Aerovelocity before copping a two-day suspension showing how the yin and ying tongs of racing work their own weird karmic interludes.

DESIGNS 7

DESIGNS 8

DESIGNS 9

DESIGNS 10

DESIGNS 11

As for Magic Moreira, well, for the first time since arriving in Hong Kong, the popular Brazilian’s mojo was not working and he had the dubious honor of not only not riding a winner, but not even riding a runner-up.

Let’s just hope that- poof- the magic hasn’t dissipated like Alice disappearing down the rabbit hole.

DESIGNS 12

Of course with the no-show by Designs On Rome- too good a horse to write off after one bad run- there is a Six Up Bonus to look forward to next Sunday.

It was meant to be a “fill up” day that started so well when those in the money saluted in the first six races before the rot set in and all those tipsters-for-hire with their loud BOOM BOOMS and BANG BANGS and slap-happy back-slapping got curiouser and curiouser mute, Alice, as if overcome by shrinkage.

DESIGNS 13

As in football, as in cricket, as in rugby, patriotism, jingoism and whateverism is great for any sport.

DESIGNS 14

But, in horse racing, perhaps it says much about a sport in the middle of change, that often- and very noticeably in cosmopolitan Hong Kong- how there’s a strong imbalance to all this rah rah ranting which reduces grown men to fawning Plaster Caster-type groupies desperately seeking acknowledgement and a free entry to Groupies Anonymous while having a knock-down effect on those they’re supporting.

DESIGNS 15

Still, to each their own and, at least, this shows some form of passion, albeit, on social media, passion in a kinda funny/sad sycophantic manner.

DESIGNS 16

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HAY MARKET AND THE IMPORTANCE OF VENUES TO ENHANCE THE CONSUMER EXPERIENCE.

Hay Market 1

It might be called Hay Market as opposed to Haymarket, but this new HKJC venue located at Grandstand 11 at the Shatin Racecourse is no barn for George Orwell’s Animal Farm refugees.

Hardly.

In fact, when tweeting a few photographs of its magnificently designed interiors, a twitter Klout Moment was scored.

Hay Market 2

Hay Market 3

Simply put, Hay Market- we’ll continue to call it Haymarket- is a venue not really seen on many race courses- a combination of rustic England and a contemporary environment, all part of the HKJC’s continuing strategy of catering to different customer groups- a strategy that should be made known so that race-goers realize all that’s being done to enhance the consumer experience.

DESIGNS 17

Though, for the moment, these HKJC venues are only allowed to be used on race days due to prehistoric government rules and regulations, here’s hoping that sanity rules and that the bureaucrats understand that there’s a word other than No.

It’s called Yes.

Yes, Minister, Don’t Say No.

DESIGNS 18

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CHRISTIAN REITH: ROLE MODEL

DESIGNS 19

There aren’t many, but every so often, horse racing throws up a very real Feel Good story- and Sydney- based jockey Christian Reith is one of them.

DESIGNS 20

We first saw this gifted young rider when a young gun riding in Macau- enormously talented, very much in demand, but like our friend Sethi Katsidis, below, who we lost way too soon, was haunted and burdened by the usual demons that find their way into the lives of so many young riders.

DESIGNS 21

Whereas Sethi lost that battle, Christian Reith has looked the devil in the eye, the devil blinked first, and the jockey is, today, seen as being a great role model to those riders coming up the ranks.

DESIGNS 22

In a surprising, but welcomed and interesting move, Reith, a close friend of the Berry family, and who flew to Singapore to be with Nathan Berry during those dark days, has had the call-up to ride in Hong Kong for three meetings in June.

This follows a shortage of riders through injuries and suspensions, and Reith was at Shatin on Sunday absorbing and observing racing here.

DESIGNS 23

In a sport where the likability of a jockey is key with Chinese race-goers and the local racing media with “success rates” acknowledged- but almost taken as a given- a back story like that of Christian Reith is something that should be talked about and admired.

Also, at a time when those new to the sport are finding their feet and getting their heads around racing, having Christian Reith meet and speak to these novices about where he was- and where he is today- should be considered part of a long-term strategy to understand and appreciate the human side of things instead of being pummeled by the “importance” of the punt.

DESIGNS 24

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THE FAST TRACKER LETS THE SUN SHINE IN.

Zac Purton held a riding clinic on Sunday with his Fiery Four winners, and with strong chances in almost every race tonight, he should make it impossible for Joao Moreira to catch the tearaway Jockey Premiership leader.

DESIGNS 25

With many of the Zac Attack’s rides certain to be at short odds and with a few small jackpots up for grabs, if playing tonight, one cannot just back the favorites.

Look what happened to “sure thing” Designs On Rome on Sunday! I’m still wiping the egg off my face.

DESIGNS 26

So, while adding a few outsiders which definitely have chances of sneaking in with how I’ll play the races tonight, one cannot forget the way in which Brett Prebble rode Distinct Commander to victory in race two on Sunday.

DESIGNS 27

Prebble rode like a man on a mission in a low class event, which underlined the fact that a winner is a winner, and how horses have no idea about any “class distinctions” in one of the most interesting races on the weekend which should be studied very carefully.

DESIGNS 28

I’m betting that the connections of Distinct Commander were the day’s big winners while the the owner of Ongoing Volatility and his missus, who fired in that futile objection against Aerovelocity, were the big losers on the day.

Overdue congratulations to Paul O’Sullivan for getting five consecutive wins from this never-say-die galloper.

Well done on a magnificent training effort- the training effort of the season in these books.

DESIGNS 29

R1 FORTUNE BRAVO/MASTER GUNNER/BILLION GAINS/CAREFREE PEGASUS

DESIGNS 30

R2 WINE LOVERS/COSMO ONE/JOLLY POSH/TANG PALACE

Tommy Berry should have wine lovers raise their glasses after this race.

DESIGNS 31

R3 YOU KNOW I WIN/MY CUP OVERFLOWS/MEDIC SWORDSMAN

An extremely tough start to the Six Up with some of the better chances drawn out wide and a number of horses that can be on the speed and win without surprising. Looks like a field job just to stay in for maybe only 25 minutes.

R4 BEAUTY KING/GUN PIT/INDIGO WAY/OYSTER

Take Gun Pit and Beauty King out, and what’s left? Not much and there can be some value here in Indigo Way- an unlucky third to Beauty King at its last start- and the lightly weighted Oyster in the first leg of the Triple Trio.

DESIGNS 32

R5 STARTING OVER/KING’S STEED/GOOD GOOD

VIEW/DANEWIN EXPRESS

Despite a class rise, Starting Over should be too good for this lot and another win for the Fownes-Purton Happy Valley hunting grounds. Horse to watch: Danewin Express.

DESIGNS 33

R6 BOTH SURE/CHOICE TREASURE/MERIDIAN TREASURE

Those in the market SHOULD score though when Chris So legs up old friend Jacky Tong on one of his runners, watch out. And in Meridian Treasure, here is a galloper with a good chance of running a place at good odds.

DESIGNS 34

R7 AMBASSADORSHIP/REAL GENEROUS/RIYADH

Going out a little wide here as it’s a pretty confusing looking lineup of runners and with Real Generous with Eddie Lai up looking a very good outsider.

DESIGNS 35

R8 BUNDLE OF JOY/EXCITING DREAM/COUR VALANT/MULTI VICTORY

The John Moore-trained Exciting Dream ran more like A Nightmare On Elm Street at its last start where, maybe, the going of the track and some competitive riding played against it.

DESIGNS 36

Dougie Whyte, below last week with good mate Felix Coetzee, sticks with it and with a two meeting suspension looming over him, one has to wonder why he’s not taken his enforced holiday immediately.

DESIGNS 37

One key reason is his career strategy this season to ride better horses and stay loyal to those trainers with Group 1 equine talent- and no one has this market cornered better than John Moore.

DESIGNS 38

Having bored you with all this, I won’t be backing Exciting Dream to win. Instead, I’ll be taking Bundle Of Joy with Moreira up as my win banker onto the following legs- 1,2,4,5,8,10.

DESIGNS 39

BEST BET R8 BUNDLE OF JOY
NEXT BEST R5 STARTING OVER
LONGSHOT R7 REAL GENEROUS

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SARIKA’S HOT SUMMER SIX UP

DESIGNS 40

R3- 5,6,10,11
R4- 6
R5- 9
R6- 5,6,8,11
R7- 5,6,7
R8- 12

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SELECTIONS FROM THE BIG APPLE (@SW064351)

big apple 4

BEST BET
Jockey Challenge, Z Purton
Has a solid book of rides from the Fownes yard. At $2.70 he looks value.

SECOND BEST
Race 4, No. 3 Gun Pit
Broke through for brave maiden win last time. Sound claims.

LONGSHOT
Race 5, No. 2 Horse Aplenty
Lack of pace and should be prominent at the end. Each-way.

QUADDIE
2,6,9 / 1,2 / 1,2,3,6,7,9 / 2,4. $50 for 69.44%.

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Selections for Happy Valley from Third Dividend 28.5.14

funny-horse-mask-39_thumb

Happy Valley (HKG)
Wed 28.5.14
#HValley Night Races @HKJC_Racing
Turf (“A” Course)
Weather: Sunny periods and isolated showers. Hot with a maximum temperature of around 32 degrees in the urban areas, and a couple of degrees higher in the New Territories. Moderate west to southwesterly winds.
Source: http://www.hko.gov.hk/contente.htm

Race 1: BLACK’S LINK HANDICAP, 28/05/2014, 19:15, Class 5, Turf, “A” Course, 1650m, Good To Firm
1 – Fortune Bravo (3)
2 – Red Adventure (10)
3 – Rising Power (4)
4 – Casa Junior (2)

Race 2: HONG KONG TRAIL HANDICAP, 28/05/2014, 19:45, Class 5, Turf, “A” Course, 1200m, Good To Firm
1 – Wine Lovers (3)
2 – Flying Keeper (9)
3 – Shanghai Pioneer (4)
4 – Cosmo One (7)

Race 3: SIR CECIL’S RIDE HANDICAP, 28/05/2014, 20:15, Class 4, Turf, “A” Course, 1200m, Good To Firm
1 – You Are The One (5)
2 – Silver Dragon (8)
3 – The Prince (3)
4 – Super Plus (2)

Race 4: TAI TAM COUNTRY TRAIL HANDICAP, 28/05/2014, 20:45, Class 4, Turf, “A” Course, 1650m, Good To Firm
1 – Gun Pit (3)
2 – Indigo Way (1)
3 – Beauty King (6)
4 – Dragon Pins (2)

Race 5 (Q1): MOUNT NICHOLSON HANDICAP, 28/05/2014, 21:15, Class 3, Turf, “A” Course, 1650m, Good To Firm
1 – Danewin Express (3)
2 – Starting Over (9)
3 – Good Good View (6)
4 – Horse Aplenty (2)

Race 6 (Q2): VIOLET HILL HANDICAP, 28/05/2014, 21:45, Class 3, Turf, “A” Course, 1200m, Good To Firm
1 – Choice Treasure (1)
2 – Seasons Star (5)
3 – Both Sure (2)
4 – All The Best (6)

Race 7 (Q3): THE CRICKET CLUB VALLEY STAKES (HANDICAP), 28/05/2014, 22:15, Class 3, Turf, “A” Course, 1800m, Good To Firm
1 – Best Show (2)
2 – Ambassadorship (7)
3 – Real Generous (6)
4 – Medallist (1)

Race 8 (Q4): WONG NAI CHUNG GAP HANDICAP, 28/05/2014, 22:50, Class 2, Turf, “A” Course, 1200m, Good To Firm
1 – Exciting Dream (2)
2 – Cour Valant (10)
3 – Happy Yeah Yeah (9)
4 – Bundle Of Joy (12)

BEST BET
Race 2: Wine Lovers (3)

NEXT BEST
Race 8: Exciting Dream (2)

VALUE BET
Race 5: Danewin Express (3) – Currently, $5.20/$2.30

LONG SHOT
Race 6: All The Best (6) – Currently, $9.70/$2.30

QUADDIE ($100 get you 39%)
2.3.6.9
1.2.5.6
1.2.6.7
2.9.10.12

SIX UP
5.8
3
3.9
1.2.5
2.7
2.9

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PARTING SHOT

DESIGNS 41

Posted in Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, JOAO MOREIRA, JOHN MOORE, zac purton | Leave a comment

Ever seen a venue like this on a racecourse?

Hay Market.

Hay Market 1

Now starring on race days at Shatin Racecourse, Grandstand 2.

Hay Market 2

The only way to enjoy racing- in style, in comfort and with good company.

Hay Market 3

Hay Market 4

Hay Market 5

Hay Market 6

Hay Market 7

Hay Market.
Making hay while the sun shines.

Posted in Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, The horse racing industry | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

TIPS, HEART AND SHANE-O’S CREEPY PRE-OCCUPATION WITH DOUGIE WHYTE

CREEPY 1

THE BIG CHADWICK FAIL

CREEPY 2

Waiting till Saturday to be told if Matty Chadwick would be fit to ride and, if not, who the replacement riders might be had us shaking our heads at The Ministry Of Silly Walks and wondering if there are those who seriously believe the lives of racing fans, especially on a weekend, are inter-twined with obtaining news from the HKJC website and listening for announcements in racing programs. Please.

CREEPY 3

Oy, Einstein, if we have to wait until the day before the races to know this, do you SERIOUSLY think we’d back anything ridden by the young jockey?

CREEPY 4

It looked like a horrific fall on Wednesday night and, thankfully, Matty is okay though he has not only been stood down for today’s races, but for TWO weeks!

Matty Chadwick should have NEVER been permitted to ride, no matter what, and this should have been decided on Wednesday.

Imagine if he rode, felt discomfort, pulled the plug after a few rides, and there was a mad scramble to find replacement riders?

End of story.

CREEPY 5

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GETTING TO THE HEART OF RACING

CREEPY 6

Someone on the periphery of horse racing recently asked us where the heart is in the sport and how, if there is a heart, where is it?

CREEPY 7

She wasn’t being combative or critical, but just trying to understand if there is life for many in racing beyond “the punt”, something far more prevalent in Australia with its daily race meetings, encyclopedia of tipsters, coven of bookmakers and with every second person one meets being either a “player” or wannabe “player” in a one-dimensional universe.

CREEPY 8

Real men eat quiche and those most successful in the racing game don’t become Tarzan and bellow their successes to the tribe.

CREEPY 9

All this simply stifles the sport. Or, perhaps, it’s starting to show up and separate the generations and creating  the new divide where, in racing jurisdictions in the UK, the US and Australia, the wheel is not only broke, it’s fallen off- and with any new lease of life dependent on truly understanding the power of the people- and the changes already in motion.

CREEPY 10

In recent weeks, we have seen Tommy Berry wear his heart on his sleeve and show everyone how even one’s greatest loss and greatest sadness can inspire so many- in the racing world and outside.

X FACTOR 5

Frankly, without him even knowing it, this young jockey has done more to give racing a heart than any racing club and show that the sport can be more than a motley crew of one-dimensional racing tragics with dubious pasts, living beyond their means, flying on the seat of their pants and shamelessly jockeying for recognition in what is an extremely tiny pool of people who almost live in each others pockets.

CREEPY 12

The world losing Nathan Berry and the great resolve shown by Tommy has made many of us look at our own lives, make life changes and decisions- and embrace the fact that there’s a whole other world out there other than horse racing.

Berry incorporated

Racing had another wake-up call with the sudden passing of trainer Guy Walter, 59, this week of a heart attack. It took many, not only by surprise, but has left them shattered.

CREEPY 14

We’ve met Guy Walter a few times and he was a gentleman through and through- polite, knowledgable, humble- and what always impressed us was the unswerving support system he was, especially, to jockey Blake Shinn through the rider’s ups, downs, sideways and back up again.

In the fickle world of horse racing, the Walter-Shinn partnership was something to admire- and two generations coming together for the good of the sport.

CREEPY 15
In Hong Kong, the arrival of Joao Moreira has managed to transcend the usual trappings of horse racing and give local racing fans their first pinup jockey.

2bb

Moreira first arrived on the scene in Singapore, but has really made his mark in the bigger racing arena that is Hong Kong at a time when racing is looking for a hero to give the sport a face lift and human face.

CREEPY 16

With a new and younger generation of jockeys, owners and trainers making their presence felt, and seeing the connection they have in Hong Kong with Happy Wednesday night racing at Happy Valley and the peaceful and fun-loving melting pot of race-goers in the Beer Garden- this could never happen anywhere else- horse racing might even have what it hasn’t had to date: A social consciousness.

CREEPY 17

On Wednesday, when Matthew Chadwick had his dramatic fall off Lord Dragon right in front of those at the Beer Garden, it made many there- many who, thankfully, had never seen a race fall- think about what jockeys go through and the need for great mental agility and resolve.

CREEPY 18

We talked that night with those new to the sport- and far wiser than their years- who wondered what must go through a jockey’s mind when coming back after a fall, that feeling of being in the barriers on top of a thousand pound beast, and the split second decisions to be made when the race starts- and as the race continues- and always having to keep from harm’s ways.

CREEPY 19

Watching Matty Chadwick lying motionless on the turf hit home as to what great athletes these riders are in what must be the most dangerous sport in the world.

At a time when a new generation is entering the sport and the concept of “going racing” is changing, especially in Hong Kong with new venues opening up and new technological breakthroughs adding to the role of the HKJC being a facilitator to customer demands plus social media making traditional media obsolete, the impotence of the “racing media” and its aging captive audience while hard questions about the value of racing “personalities” are being openly questioned along with the huge wastage of money by certain racing clubs on ill-conceived events, nothing can no longer be brushed under the carpet and hope problems just go away.

CREEPY 20

Racing has a new broom and this broom is a super-sized vacuum cleaner that will suck up what’s not needed and finally provide the sport with that long overdue clean slate it needs to start a renaissance period and replace irrelevance with relevance  in today’s customer-driven world.

CREEPY 21

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“SHANE-O” DOES “THE DOUGIE” (AGAIN)

CREEPY 22

It was interesting to hear Tye Angland being interviewed by our old chum  Shane “The Man Of The People” Anderson, the Anchorman of Australian racing, following the talented young rider’s decision to return home- and what a brilliant start he has made upon his return- to continue with his riding career after three very successful seasons in Hong Kong.

CREEPY 23b
As usual, out of nowhere, came that old “Shane-o” chestnut: So, Tye, what’s it like riding against Douglas Whyte- or words to that affect- and, What’s he like- Dougie Whyte?

CREEPY 24

And, just as Zac Purton did with “Shane-o The Draino” a month ago,Tye Angland fell for it and talked about Hong Kong’s champion South African jockey for thirteen successive years being distant and how “he keeps to himself” whereas hanging with the Aussie boys was so much fun.

CREEPY 25

Yes? And what’s this got to do with the price of fish and what’s Dougie Whyte meant to do?

Pull out a- no, no, not that- wobble board and treat everyone in the jockeys room to a rousing version of Three Little Boys while slapping the arses of fellow jockeys with a wet towel?

CREEPY 26

Sorry, but this question on Repeat by “The Man Of The People” about Whyte would be funny if it weren’t so creepy, and coming across sounding like the parochial angst of a spurned bunny boiler lost amongst the tall poppies syndrome and clutching at straws for questions.

CREEPY 27

Meanwhile, here’s hoping that when Zac Purton becomes the jockey to bring an end to The Champ’s thirteen-year reign, humility is shown along with graciousness with the backing chorus of Oy Oy Oys kept in check.

CREEPY 28

With great power comes great responsibility and many will be watching how well the new champ wears the crown.

CREEPY 29

Douglas Whyte is a very tough act to follow- even though, apparently, being an unfriendly, moody, loner who enjoys reading a book and focusing on that next ride.

CREEPY 30

——————————————————–

THE CAT IS BACK

CREEPY 31

A special guest at today’s Champions and Chater Cup day will be The Cat- legendary jockey and champion bloke Felix Coetzee who created history with the great Silent Witness.

CREEPY 32

Having hung up his boots and starting to play a role in his home country’s apprentice scheme, we couldn’t think of a better mentor for also Hong Kong’s young riders through an “exchange program” with first-hand experience riding in South Africa and the watchful eye of The Cat.

CREEPY 33

——————————————————–

MORE MOORES THAN THE AVERAGE BEAR, BOO BOO.

CREEPY 34

With Tommy Berry confirming that he won’t be riding full-time in Hong Kong next season- a wise decision, and the right decision as family comes first- of course, talk is who will get the pick of John Moore’s arsenal of equine talent.

CREEPY 35

Frankly, we have no idea the need to burn out the grey cells thinking about this: Dougie Whyte will get some rides, Neil Callan MIGHT get a few crumbs along with Brett Prebble, the door is shut on Zac Purton and which leaves the entire cupboard for Joao Moreira to pick and choose his rides and take out next season’s Jockey Premiership along with some International forays for Hong Kong’s Cups King.

BMW 15

What will be very interesting to sit back and watch is the “exchange program” being thought about and to do with John Moore racing his horses in Australia with Brother Gary, below, who leaves Macau in August where he has been champion trainer to re-start his career in Sydney with stables at Rosehill being involved- even as a “facilitator”.

CREEPY 36

What John Moore has openly discussed in the SCMP about his plans and that of David Boehm- owner of Dan Excel- makes sense.

Having said this, we remain skeptical how the HKJC will view Gary Moore being involved in the process.

CREEPY 37

It will require the wisdom of Solomon to make this purr like a pussy in heat.

CREEPY 38

——————————————————–

BRETTISMS

CREEPY 39

Amigo Darren: “There’s a huge £15 MILLION Quick Pick up for grabs tonight in the UK which will have those who don’t usually follow racing getting involved”.

Amigo Clint: “It’s great when that happens because it gets more new people involved in the sport.”

Amigo Brett: “Well, we have a HK$2m jackpot in the Triple Trio tomorrow (today).”

CREEPY 40

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THE FAST TRACKER HAS DESIGNS ON WINNING AT SHATIN

In the battle for the Jockeys Premiership, with 13 meetings to go, Zac Purton leads Joao Moreira by 13 winners with both riders hit by a typical end of season slowdown when there are so many tired horses going around.

CREEPY 41

Are some of the new horses popping up any good or only looking better than they are because they’re running against competition that are longing for a roll in the hay? Time will tell.

CREEPY 42

Before all race meetings take to the dirt, these next few race days should be the time to strike those exotic bets where there are always one or two standouts- and today, in your Six Up bets, why think twice about standing out Designs On Rome to take out the Champions And Chater Cup on a great card and a meeting that looks like being held on a sunny day.

CREEPY 43

R1 GALLANT ROCK/STRATHMORE

Tony Millard has some VERY nice new  purchases and these two could run the quinella without surprising. Both have been working excellently with Strathmore looking better. Hard to split the pair. Below is another of Millie’s new purchases.

CREEPY 44

R2 DISTRICT COMMANDER/PROSPERITY AETHON/JOLLY POSH

Brett Prebble should just win this on District Commander.

CREEPY 45

R3 GOLDEN DEER/HIT THE BID/STAG KNIGHT/FAMILY INTERESTS

Depending on its odds, I must might make Hit The Bid the second leg of a Millard-Teetan first double. Gotta LOVE the photo below.

CREEPY 46

R4 TONYBOY/SHARP HUNTER/BULLISH SMART

When Dougie Whyte gets down to a low weight to ride one, it usually means that it WILL be there though I think Tonyboy can beat it.

CREEPY 47

R5 ACTIVISM/SURROUNDED/OCEAN POWER/MR MARFACH

With a $2m triple trio jackpot on offer, this first leg could wipe out many- a Class 4, 2200 meter race!

CREEPY 48

With all the goings-on with feed and horse withdrawals on race day, it’s hard to back horses with David Hall which is the ONLY reservation I have about making Surrounded my banker in a tough race.

CREEPY 49

R6 ROYALE ELEGANCE/FASTER MORE/JOLLY GOOD STAR/DEMOKLES

Faster More has been off the scene for a long time after returning sore at its last start in March. Trainer Ricky Yiu has taken his time getting the galloper ready for racing and has Moreira up. It will definitely place but I’d rather go with last-start winner Royale Elegance following its strong last start win for Tommy Berry over course and distance.

CREEPY 50

R7 LET ME GO/WINNING INSTINCT/JAEGER BOMB/KEEN TACTICS

The day Club Life won for Umberto Rispoli on a softish track, Let Me Go, which was at 4.5 ended up a plodding fifth.

CREEPY 51

They clash again today where I see Let It Go having conditions to suit with Keen Tactics being a value chance for a place.

CREEPY 52

R8 DESIGNS ON ROME/DOMINANT

Seriously, how can any other runner beat Designs On Rome? It’s head and shoulders ahead of the rest with John Moore’s second stringer- Dominant- making it another Moore quinella.

CREEPY 53

R9 BIG FOUR/BRILLIANT SHINE/GOOD CHOICE/GOLDEN HARVEST

Apart from Brilliant Shine, the other main chances are drawn out in the carpark and with everything looking like this race will have a very tight finish.

CREEPY 54

For my money, Big Four is Whyte’s best ride of the day despite the barrier and worth taking as a banker in the first leg of the third Double Trio.

CREEPY 55

R10 CHARLES THE GREAT/DIVINE TEN/BULLISH FRIEND

I’m unsure if Dougie Whyte has decided to stick with Divine Ten over Charles The Great or John Moore has given the ride to Tommy Berry?

CREEPY 56

R11 ROMAN SOLDIERS/SEA DIAMOND

Whatever the case, it will be interesting to see Divine Ten tackle 1200 meters after being so dominant over the 1000m sprint and twelve pounds on his regular ride.

CREEPY 57

For me, also keep the Tony Cruz-trained Bullish Friend where Andy Suborics takes over from Matty Chadwick.

CREEPY 58

R11 ROMAN SOLDIER

BEST BET R2 DISTRICT COMMANDER
NEXT BEST R1 QUINELLA- GOLDEN ROCK/STRATHMORE
LONGSHOT R11 QUARTET BANKER MULTIPLE- 11 LEGS 4,5,7,8,9,12

CREEPY 59

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SARIKA’S CHAMPIONS AND CHATER CUP SIX UP

TIARAS 42

R6: 2,4
R7: 4,6,8,11
R8: 1
R9: 4,7,9,10
R10: 1,5
R11: 4-7-8

——————————————————–

SELECTIONS FROM THE BIG APPLE (@SW064351)

big apple 4

BEST BET
Race 10, No. 6 Aerovelocity
Promising gelding who has been freshened. Can go on with it.

SECOND BEST
Race 4, No. 4 Tonyboy
Luckless at his last two outings. Sure to be charging home late.

LONGSHOT
Race 9, No. 6 Green Manner
Honest effort behind Snitzel Kid last start. Both totes.

QUADDIE
1,3 / 4,6,9,10 / 1,6,13 / 4,8,11. $50 for 69.44%.

——————————————————–

Selections for Sha Tin from Third Dividend

horse

SHA TIN (HKG)
Sat 25.5.14
Day Races @HKJC_Racing
Turf (“A” Course)
Weather: Mainly fine apart from isolated showers at first. Hot during the day with a maximum temperature of around 32 degrees in the urban areas, and one to two degrees higher in the New Territories. Moderate southerly winds.
Source: http://www.hko.gov.hk/contente.htm

Race 1: PRECISION PLATE, 25/05/2014, 12:30, Griffin Race, Turf, “A” Course, 1200m, Good
1 – Manipulation (7)
2 – Gallant Rock (10)
3 – Exaggeration (1)
4 – Starthmore (12)

Race 2: CHEERS HONG KONG HANDICAP, 25/05/2014, 13:00, Class 5, Turf, “A” Course, 1200m, Good
1 – Distinct Commander (1)
2 – Prosperity Aethon (5)
3 – Happily Time (4)
4 – Jolly Posh (2)

Race 3: HOUSEMASTER HANDICAP, 25/05/2014, 13:30, Class 4, Turf, “A” Course, 1200m, Good
1 – Hit The Bid (3)
2 – Golden Deer (1)
3 – Master Sommelier (2)
4 – Stag Night (8)

Race 4: ORIENTAL EXPRESS HANDICAP, 25/05/2014, 14:00, Class 3, Turf, “A” Course, 1200m, Good
1 – Sharp Hunter (14)
2 – Tonyboy (4)
3 – Laugh Out Loud (12)
4 – Bullish Smart (9)

Race 5: SURVEY KING HANDICAP, 25/05/2014, 14:30, Class 4, Turf, “A” Course, 2200m, Good
1 – Ocean Power (6)
2 – Dragon Bachelor (5)
3 – Activism (2)
4 – Surrounded (12)

Race 6: PACKING WINNER HANDICAP, 25/05/2014, 15:00, Class 4, Turf, “A” Course, 1600m, Good
1 – Royale Elegance (2)
2 – Faster More (4)
3 – Demokles (9)
4 – Mark Two (7)

Race 7: PRIVILEGE HANDICAP, 25/05/2014, 15:30, Class 3, Turf, “A” Course, 1600m, Good
1 – Club Life (5)
2 – Let Me Go (6)
3 – Jaeger Bomb (8)
4 – Winning Instinct (4)

Race 8 (Q1): THE STANDARD CHARTERED CHAMPIONS & CHATER CUP, 25/05/2014, 16:00, Hong Kong Group One, Turf, “A” Course, 2400m, Good
1 – Designs On Rome (1)
2 – Domminant (3)
3 – Bubbble Chic (7)
4 – Dibayani (5)

Race 9 (Q2): MAKARPURA STAR HANDICAP, 25/05/2014, 16:35, Class 3, Turf, “A” Course, 1400m, Good
1 – Brilliant Shine (9)
2 – Big Four (4)
3 – Great Sky (7)
4 – Sichuan Exec (2)

Race 10 (Q3): THE SHA TIN VASE (HANDICAP), 25/05/2014, 17:10, Hong Kong Group Three, Turf, “A” Course, 1200m, Good
1 – Charles The Great (1)
2 – Divine Ten (5)
3 – Bullish Friend (4)
4 – Aerovelocity (6)

Race 11 (Q4): NDIGENOUS HANDICAP, 25/05/2014, 17:45, Class 2, Turf, “A” Course, 1400m, Good
1 – Sea Diamond (8)
2 – Roman Soldier (11)
3 – Victory Master (4)
4 – Fabulous November (12)

BEST BET
Race 6: Royale Elegance (2)

NEXT BEST
Race 2: Distinct Commander (1)

VALUE BET
Race 7: Club Life (5)

LONG SHOT
Race 10: Golden harvest (13) – Currently, $15.00/$4.31

SPECIAL
Race 8: Designs On Rome (1)

QUADDIE ($100 get you 208%)

SIX UP
2.4.9
4.5.6.8
1
4.9
1.4.5
8

——————————————————–

PARTING SHOT

CREEPY 60

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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 brett prebble, casper fownes, DAVID FERRARIS, dennis yip, DOUGLAS WHYTE, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, zac purton | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

THE CHUMPS AND “THE CHUMPIONSHIPS”

HAS THE PREMIER SUNK “THE CHAMPIONSHIPS”?

CHUMPIONSHIPS 1

“BAIRD’S TURF WAR”, thundered the front page headline in Tuesday’s News Limited rag – the Daily Telegraph referring, of course, to a black week for NSW Racing with Premier Mike Baird refusing to commit to and guarantee $10million in funding to underwrite the 2015 Championships.

CHUMPIONSHIPS 2

Doubling as Racing NSW’s equivalent of Pravda in the dark old days of the old Soviet Union, The Daily Telegraph took it on as its own “cause celebre”. Better look that one up, Christian Nikahippotamus, gossip reporter extraordinaire.

CHUMPIONSHIPS 3

It says heaps about Uncle Rupert’s Sydney incarnation of News of the World that right in the middle of the unprecedented fallout from the most controversial, politically and financially Federal Budget in Australia’s recent history that Sydney’s highest circulating daily rag would use, not only it’s front page, but also its editorial- that’s right its fucking editorial- to carry the can for a predicament for NSW racing that is almost exclusively of its own making.

CHUMPIONSHIPS 4

And coming through the flanks with his own inimitable spin and tired old clichés with his bass soto voice was Racing NSW’s own version of yesterday’s hero and bubblehead in Peter Vlundies, Da People’s Mon.

Altogether now; What a man, what a man, what a mighty good man…

CHUMPIONSHIPS 5

It was a media blitz that the pollies and their political machines would have been proud of. But, as with most spin campaigns- and loud and incoherent and, largely, faux ramblings of outrage, disadvantage, and the usual heart tugging calls for a level playing field- it’s raised and left a trail of unanswered questions which strike at the very heart of the Championship model and its funding.

CHUMPIONSHIPS 6

Did the Championships EVER have a properly constructed business case, and was it EVER presented to the now defunct O’Farrell Government?

Interestingly, “Pravda” chose to take the sledgehammer to Mike Baird for his Government ”refusing to stump up another $10 million grant” to make the Championships happen in 2015.

The “smelly’s” editor-at-large – whatever that means- John Lehmann- reported that “he (Baird) is refusing to continue the $10 million grant that underwrote this year’s The Championships, instead offering the funding as a loan” – which we learnt from Lehmann’s story was for four years and was “firmly rejected” by Racing NSW.

CHUMPIONSHIPS 7

Bad strategy, large editor. You and your editor don’t seriously believe that Mike Baird is a politically naïve and politically illiterate fool, do you?

Not only has Baird had $80 billion – that’s right $80 billion- ripped from his State’s education and health funding from the Federal Budget’s sledgehammer to anything bar the air we breathe, but Baird, whose Government is barely a six weeks old, faces a State election early next year.

CHUMPIONSHIPS 8

Just imagine the outcry if Baird was the stupid and dumb pollie that he has been clearly assumed to be by some in racing, and puts the fate of his Government, the well-being of the NSW economy, and the delivery of health, education and infrastructure services on the line to “stump up” NSW racing.

CHUMPIONSHIPS 9

No, Baird has shown himself to be quite the opposite- a successful Treasurer who has managed to get the NSW state economy back on track by cleaning up the financial basket case that he inherited from his predecessors on the opposite side of the political spectrum.

CHUMPIONSHIPS 10

Baird himself and his Government might just have seen through the confused strategy of the hapless section of the NSW racing industry and their media allies whose initial ranting and raving was about threats to funding for the Championships- and which- very quickly and subtly-shifted to the indignant thundering outrage about the un-level playing field stacked against the NSW racing industry by the NSW State Government take out of $3,22 for every $100 wagered on the NSW Tab compared with the $1.28 take out by the Victorian State Government from every $100 wagered on the Victorian Tab.

Vlundies was at his whingeing and whining best. It was vintage Vlundies.

CHUMPIONSHIPS 11

All the usual clichés were dusted off the shelves of his executive suite in Druitt Street: “We just want an end to the Government taking an unfair share of revenue from racing”, the “Smellygraph” editorial quoted him as saying.

CHUMPIONSHIPS 12

And then, “All we are asking for is a level playing field”, he pleaded in John Lehmann’s story on the same day.

CHUMPIONSHIPS 13

Putting aside the one-sided cheer squad/type editorial, the “us against them” tactic- effectively used by Vlundies against the corporate bookies in the product fee dispute and on other occasions- has been given plenty of airings in the weaponry of war against enemy Baird and his State Government.

CHUMPIONSHIPS 14

Even Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s name was invoked in Lehmann’s story: “Prime Minister Tony Abbott offered his support to the bold venture by making a rare trip to Randwick on Easter Saturday to watch the running of The Championships’ signature event- the Queen Elizabeth Stakes- the richest 2000m weight for age race in the world. The Queen also sent one of her best horses- Carlton House- which finished third”.

Bad strategy.

Invoking Tony Abbott’s name in support of The Championships is just a very B-a-a-ad tactic.

CHUMPIONSHIPS 15

Abbott is on the nose in just about every poll and would give the community even more potent reasons to oppose any change to the funding arrangements for racing.

Besides, since when has attending a feature race meeting demonstrated support for “such a bold venture” or for racing itself?

If we recall rightly, Abbott attended the meeting with his elderly father, who, like many of us, like a punt on the nags. And as for the Queen sending Carlton House out for the Championships, Carlton House was sent to Gai Waterhouse after he competed at the Hong Kong International races in December 2012- and long before the QE stakes became the centrepiece of the Championships, which, at that point in time, was a thought bubble basing itself around Chairman Messiah’s version of an Australian “Breeders. Quite a very, very long bow to draw and suggest “the Queen sent out one of her best horses” to run in the race. Puhleeeeeeeze.

CHUMPIONSHIPS 16

But it did not end there. Our mate Christian Nickawhatever, the Jimmy Olsen of the racing media-and Lehmann- kept up the pressure the next day.

CHUMPIONSHIPS 17

By this time, the story had slid way down the order of unimportance to Page 15, where readers were greeted by a “Running second to Melbourne painful” headline which started out, “Sydney’s biggest racing stars are devastated that NSW Premier Mike Baird is thwarting efforts to build a world class carnival to rival the Melbourne Cup”.

In the words of Oz racing’s Jimmy Olsen, well, boo hoo.

CHUMPIONSHIPS 18

These biggest “racing stars” numbered jockeys Tommy Berry and Jimmy Cassidy, owner Nick Moraitis and Australian Chief Henry Plumptre.

The responses were a mix of the predictable and an observation that “Gee, we didn’t know some of these guys were so thoughtful, lucid and literate”.

Nicka whatever did add a much needed balance to the commentary quoting Gai Waterhouse and Mick Price in a separate piece titled, “Autumn of discontent”: “However, leading trainers Gai Waterhouse and Mick Price, who won three majors between them during the two Saturdays of The Championships, said while it would be a huge blow if the big stakes weren’t up for grabs again, the government had an obligation to the taxpayer, not the punter”. And then quoting Waterhouse, who as always, put things very firmly in perspective: “Of course it’s a great shame if the money isn’t going to be there, but the government has to make it so the taxpayers don’t pay more taxes”.

Could anyone have put it any better or any clearer?

Apparently one other did: Enter the NSW State Treasurer Andrew Constance, who on Friday, was quoted by the “Smelly’s” State Political Reporter Andrew Clennell as having ruled out concessions to the racing industry saying the State did not have $85 million lying around “to lower the tax taken from punters in NSW”.

Constance went further according to Clennell stating that any change required a national approach because NSW would need to get the money from elsewhere, and the issue of wagering tax should be on the federal agenda.

Invoking the mercy rule, the State Treasurer had delivered the knockout punch to Vlundies and his “smellygraph” mates.

CHUMPIONSHIPS 19

What should set the alarms bells ringing loud and clear to Racing NSW- and the NSW racing industry- is the fatally flawed strategy and complete futility in picking a public brawl with an elected Government – a brawl, which, over history, has demonstrated that City Hall always is the victor – the last man standing.

CHUMPIONSHIPS 20

Making political enemies of State Governments, Premiers and their close and influential allies is akin to committing hari kari.

And those who naively believe that- if and when the crunch comes and Rupert and his News Limited boardroom support the agendas of Racing NSW over their favoured political shade of conservative blue- then they are delusional, if not mentally impaired.

CHUMPIONSHIPS 21

————————————-

THE SAD LOSS OF GUY WALTER

CHUMPIONSHIPS 22

They say bad luck comes in threes – and so we have it in racing over the past two months or so having lost three of racing’s very finest- Nathan Berry, Bob Hoysted, and now, Guy Walter is no longer with us.

Nathan, Bob and Guy shared a common character trait and attribute: They were three very decent and honourable human beings who enjoyed and were passionate about their professions, and were rewarded with the success they so richly deserved.

The news of Guy Walter’s sudden and devastating fatal heart attack cut very deep on Thursday morning.

Just last Saturday, Guy had added the 36th Group One win to his training CV with his wonderful mare Streama- ridden by stable jockey Blake Shinn- taking out the Doomben Cup.

CHUMPIONSHIPS 23

The racing world- almost to a man and woman- remember Guy as a thorough gentleman and a “horseman’s horseman”.

Guy was a “young” 59 years old and had a stack of Group Ones ahead of him.

Racing has been robbed of another of its good guys.

Sadly for racing and for the world that number is dwindling rapidly.

Rest In Peace, Guy.

Posted in Australian horse racing industry, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, Peter V'landys | 2 Comments

TIPS, TANTRUMS AND TIARAS

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

TIARAS 1

We’re constantly bombarded by both racing and football fans asking if the HKJC might turn to super-popular Brazilian jockey Joao Moreira for any of the Club’s promotional and marketing activities during the World Cup which kicks off- where else?- in Brazil next month- and which is not such a silly question.

2bb

The ways to bring even a morsel of the huge football betting contingent to horse racing can mean a sizable increase in wagering- and IF cleverly thought through, could have a strong USP to compete with illegal bookmakers with the marketing of the Magic Man during the World Cup being perfect timing.

Of course, the usual red card we see about to be produced is whether after leading those usual horses to water, they have the ability to make this happen.

TIARAS 2

Still with GOOOOOOAAAAAALLLL, though this season’s remaining race meetings after the June 5 races at Happy Valley take place in Shatin while the city track undergoes enhancements until re-opening on October 28, there will still be Happy Wednesday nights- not in the Beer Garden- for those who come to the Valley track to cross-bet.

OFF COURSE 1

A Brazilian carnivale-type Happy Wednesday World Cup night with dancers, samba samba samba and, well, scoring with some Ole Ole girls? Could be a great way to blow the whistles and bring World Cup Magic 2014 to Hong Kong.

TIARAS 3

———————————————

THE JOHN MOORE X FACTOR

TIARAS 4

After Singapore Airline’s International Day at Kranji racecourse, and still groggy from listening to Cliff Richard being just so slap-happy with that 40-year-old track called Congratulations, some of us started talking about the win of Dan Excel, and wondered what Hong Kong racing would be without John Moore- and if we could see anyone coming through the trainers ranks who might be able to step in.

In a word, No.

X FACTOR 5

TIARAS 5

TIARAS 6

As we have now written many times in the 8-9 years we’ve been here with these FREE posts- being the number two son of the great George Moore, who trained horses for us, and cast a long shadow across racecourses at a time when younger brother Gary Moore was the golden boy of Hong Kong racing, John had to work doubly hard to win his father’s approval to get to where he is today.

TIARAS 7

After all, he was always “the former lanky jockey” who had enjoyed very moderate success except when riding Harrington and Carrington for owner Herbert Kees.

TIARAS 8

If, as some say, he’s an “untouchable”, with the HKJC having one set of rules for him and another set of rules for other trainers, not to mention his reputation for having mangled relationships with his jockeys, nothing can take away from the champion trainer’s incredible run of success and a stable that this season includes Group 1 winners Sterling City, Military Attack and, after its win at Kranji racecourse on Sunday, Dan Excel.

TIARAS 9

Add to this, Designs On Rome which can easily be one of the best gallopers in the world whereas in a starring role is Able Friend with strong co-stars in Rewarding Hero, Frederick Engels, Secret Sham and Charles The Great.

TIARAS 10

Take these horses away from Hong Kong racing, and what’s left? Not much.

TIARAS 11

Love him or leave him- and with all the prize money he’s earned so far this season, does he really care what people think?- “Diamond” John “Jim Dandy” Moore is Dominant and with a vintage Collection of Xtensions and Viva Pataca equine talent.

TIARAS 12

TIARAS 13

All those years working under George Moore have served him well and made him his own man and the head of the Moore Dynasty.

TIARAS 14

In fact, he might even be better than his legendary father when it comes to the powers of persuasion.

TIARAS 15

His ability to convince owners to purchase only the best equine talent money can buy- and which he and his team pick and choose with military precision and a definite strategy aimed at winning Hong Kong’s biggest races- is something many now almost take for granted.

Do, as some trainers say, Moore’s owners, “pay too much?”- different to “over-paying”- well, no one’s twisting their arms to buy something they don’t want.

TIARAS 16

John Moore’s client list includes some of the biggest names in big business who play to win and so buy to win and buy that priceless commodity called Face in the process.

TIARAS 17

TIARAS 18

It’s supply and demand and John Moore delivers this supply- quality supply, especially from the UK.

TIARAS 19

What many forget, however is the “maintenance program” required to keep these high-powered and often demanding owners happy as Larry and continuing to purchase quality equine talent like a long-time owner like Dr Cornel Li, below, who’s owned all those very “Able” horses over the years- and owners who don’t seem to mind their horses competing with each other in, often, the same race.

TIARAS 20

In all of this Moore talk, let’s not forget what our long-time mate Caspar Fownes has accomplished after, for a while, looking as if he wouldn’t even be granted a trainer’s license in Hong Kong.

TIARAS 21

Though the son of the now-retired trainer in the popular Lawrie Fownes, one of the most dapperly dressed gentlemen of the turf, Fownes The Younger certainly wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth and a shoe-in to be granted a trainer’s license. Nothing was ever taken for granted.

It still isn’t which is what drives Cas- sometimes bloody mad.

TIARAS 22

Don’t let his boyish charm and schoolboy sense of humor fool you.

Apart from practically owning Happy Valley races with a remarkable strike rate, and his ability to speak fluent Cantonese and Punjabi, there’s his ongoing mission to keep the now rising seven-year-old ticking every time one thinks this incredible galloper’s number’s up.

TIARAS 23

This is when Cas goes to work, patches it up, makes it realize that age is only a number and then, as on Sunday at Kranji, let Lucky Nine to do what it does best: Win and here’s hoping this continues when the big-hearted galloper competes next in The Sprinters Stake at Nakayama on October 5.

TIARAS 24

There are similarities between John Moore and Caspar Fownes and just as many differences.

The bottom line, however, is that both are good for racing, they are their own men and very good and successful world-class trainers and a marquee-value double act that is a marketers dream team.

TIARAS 25

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WHY HKJC SIMULCASTS OFTEN MAKE US FEEL LIKE THIS…

TIARAS 26

…AND THIS…

TIARAS 27

AND THIS!

TIARAS 28

No, no, please don’t mention that the simultaneous broadcast on Sunday was shown in its entirety on “ATV HD” as we’re willing to bet that 99.9% of Hong Kong- and many at the HKJC Mothership- are clueless as to where it is and that this channel even exists.

JoJo? Amigos? Friends? Romans? Countrymen? Fred?

TIARAS 29

Let’s just stick to local terrestrial channel ATV World where, at 5.55pm, viewers watched a race which Zac Purton won before hosts JoJo and Amigo Clint bade viewers a temporary Adieu.

TIARAS 30

After news breaks, commercial breaks including a depressing anti-gambling PSA, and the program Newsline, viewers were finally back at Kranji at- doh- 8.05pm- and, in time, to see the jubilant carrying-on AFTER the win of Lucky Nine.

TIARAS 31

What about the various all-ups etc bet on earlier in the day thinking we’d be watching six races from Kranji- without interruptions? No idea.

And we invited friends over and ordered in satay, curries and noodles for our Singapore La La SPG Party for THIS???

TIARAS 32

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THE FAST TRACKER FEARS THE WRATH OF THOR AS THE WEATHER GODS GO CRAZY IN HONG KONG!!!

TIARAS 33

R1 GOLD TARTINI/MOBILE KING/STARLIT WARRIOR/TIPPERARY DAVOR

Who knows after the Morning Of The Heavy Rains today what the track conditions will be like, but I reckon Gold Tartini will be a very hot favorite, and despite the excellent strike rate of David Hall and Joao Moreira, it won’t win this.

TIARAS 34

R2 REAL FIT/CHINA POWER/EXCEL ONESELF/NAZAKAT’S LAD/

Though Dougie Whyte might have chosen Excel Oneself- a beaten favorite at its last start- over Nazakat’s Lad, which he rode at its last start, I’d still keep my eye on the “discard” despite Derek Leung, below, getting the ride and having to overcome a wide draw.

TIARAS 35

Much was expected of Nazakat’s Kid at its last start with long-time Hong Kong owner HT Barma even coming to the track for the winning photograph, and even giving me TWO thumbs up-or the finger-but the horse was very disappointing. Maybe the Kid was waiting for today. Maybe.

TIARAS 36

R3 GOLDEN ADDICTION/GALAXY PRANCER/GRAND ELITE/SPEEDY WINNER

Golden Addiction with Moreira up will be at short odds, but I have doubts about it as it’s really not much good. Then again, none of the other eight runners are any good either, so the best of a mediocre lot could take this race and I should stop over-thinking this it to death.

TIARAS 37

R4 LORD DRAGON/NEW PET/SPITFIRE/NATURAL TEAM

An even race and a tough first leg of the Triple Trio where there are around eight winning chances.

TIARAS 38

R5 TWIN TURBO/ROBUST MOMENTUM/CHERYL’S KISS/PLAIN RED BANNER

The first of two Quartet races for the night and for value, I’d suggest this:

6 (multiple banker) x2,3,5,7,12.

R6 LONDON WALK/FUN ‘N GAMES/SIGHT BELIEVER/ROMAN LEGEND

R7 TABLEAUX/WINNIE’S HORSE/FLYING ELITE/JOLLY VICTOR

Huge things were expected of Tableaux at its last start in Shatin when it came up against a softish track. Brett Prebble takes over from the suspended Olivier Doleuze who has been going through a flat spot, and this jockey change and the city track might mean payback time to those who had their fingers burnt at Tableaux’s last start.

TIARAS 39

R8 ALL WIN BOY/SUNNY FAY/NORDIC ONE/CHEERS JOY

Douglas Whyte has a happy knack of jumping on Nordic One at exactly the right time.

TIARAS 40

NO Best Bets etc though we’re tipping at least one Longshot saluting.

BIO-EINSTEIN-TONGUE

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SARIKA’S SOGGY SIX UP

TIARAS 42

R3- 1,5,6,9
R4- 9,10
R5- 5,6
R6- 2,3
R7- 8
R8- 2,4,10

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SELECTIONS FROM THE BIG APPLE (@SW064351)

big apple 4

BEST BET
Race 3, No. 6 Golden Addiction
Drawn well and should get an ideal run just behind the speed. The one to beat.

SECOND BEST
Race 6, No. 3 Sight Believer
Consistent type who is hard to knock. Go close.

LONGSHOT
Race 5, No. 9 Let’s Goal
Strong to the line last start. Well rated and could surprise at odds.

QUADDIE
2,5,6,7,9 / 2,3 / 2,6,12 / 2,4,10. $50 for 55.55%.

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Selections for Happy Valley from Third Dividend 21.5.14‏

funny horse face riding on train

Happy Valley (HKG)
Wed 21.5.14
#HValley Night Races @HKJC_Racing
Turf (“C+3″ Course-Worked Back)
Weather: Cloudy with showers and a few squally thunderstorms. The maximum temperature will be around 29 degrees. Moderate south to southwesterly winds, fresh at times.
Source: http://www.hko.gov.hk/contente.htm

Race 1: FRANCE GALOP OWNERS DEPARTMENT HANDICAP, 21/05/2014, 19:15, Class 5, Turf, “C+3″ Course, 1800m, Good to Yielding
1 – Mobile King (4)
2 – Starlit Warrior (8)
3 – Dark Secret (3)
4 – Humongus (7)

Race 2: DEAUVILLE AUGUST YEARLING SALES HANDICAP, 21/05/2014, 19:45, Class 4, Turf, “C+3″ Course, 1000m, Good to Yielding
1 – Excel Oneself (11)
2 – Real Fit (3)
3 – Monte Castello (2)
4 – Brilliant Proposal (1)

Race 3: LONGCHAMP RACECOURSE HANDICAP, 21/05/2014, 20:15, Class 3, Turf, “C+3″ Course, 1650m, Good to Yielding
1 – Golden Addiction (6)
2 – Galaxy Prancer (1)
3 – Real Generous (2)
4 – Forgive And Forget (3)

Race 4: EQUIDIA RACING CHANNEL HANDICAP, 21/05/2014, 20:45, Class 4 (Special Condition), Turf, “C+3″ Course, 1200m, Good to Yielding
1 – Jade Pippo (9)
2 – Lord Dragon (10)
3 – Demon Demon (3)
4 – Natural Team (11)

Race 5 (Q1): FRENCH RACING & BREEDING COMMITTEE HANDICAP, 21/05/2014, 21:15, Class 4, Turf, “C+3″ Course, 1650m, Good to Yielding
1 – Robust Momentum (5)
2 – Southern Springs (10)
3 – Twin Turbo (2)
4 – Joyful Mission (11)

Race 6 (Q2): LE FRENCH MAY TROPHY (HANDICAP), 21/05/2014, 21:45, Class 3, Turf, “C+3″ Course, 1000m, Good to Yielding
1 – Sight Believer (3)
2 – Fun N’ Games (1)
3 – London Walk (2)
4 – Roman Legend (5)

Race 7 (Q3): THE FRANCE GALOP CUP (HANDICAP), 21/05/2014, 22:15, Class 2, Turf, “C+3″ Course, 1800m, Good to Yielding
1 – Flying Elite (6)
2 – Formula One (11)
3 – Approve (1)
4 – Willie Invictus (5)

Race 8 (Q4): ARC DE TRIOMPHE CHAMPIONSHIPS HANDICAP, 21/05/2014, 22:50, Class 3, Turf, “C+3″ Course, 1200m, Good to Yielding
1 – All Win Boy (2)
2 – Nordic One (10)
3 – Silly Buddies (1)
4 – Super Abundante (8)

BEST BET
Race 3: Golden Addiction (6)

NEXT BEST
Race 8: All Win Boy (2)

VALUE BET
Race 4: Jade Pippo (9) – Currently, $6.20/$2.30

LONG SHOT
Race 6: Roman Legend (5) – Currently, $10.00/$3.50

QUADDIE ($100 get you 39%)
2.5.10.11
1.2.3.5
1.5.6.11
1.2.8.10

SIX UP
6
9.10
5.10
1.2.3
6
2.10

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PARTING SHOT

TIARAS 43

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Posted in Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, JOAO MOREIRA, JOHN MOORE, JOHN SIZE, www.fasttrack.hk, zac purton | 1 Comment

WINNING IN SINGAPORE AND THE TOMMY BERRY X FACTOR

It was great to see Hong Kong’s Lucky Nine win in Singapore last night with jockey Brett Prebble- overcome with emotion- talking about this gallant galloper that trainer Caspar Fownes treats like one of his kids.

X FACTOR 1

Just when you think Lucky Nine has simply given everything he’s got, Cas patches his kid up, experiments with gear changes and ockey and trainer prove the naysayers wrong.

X FACTOR 2

And so it was with Lucky Nine during Singapore Airlines International Day last night as it turned back the clock- again- at- again- its happy hunting grounds.

X FACTOR 3

There was Corey Brown, who left Sydney racing to become a citizen of the world, riding a brilliant treble.

There was Danny Beasley, another brilliant Aussie jockey who turned his back on Oz racing to move and live in Singapore, riding a double whereas Zac Purton and Joao Moreira, for whom Singapore was home for so many years, chipped in with a winner apiece.

There was Danny Beasley, another brilliant Aussie jockey who turned his back on Oz racing to move and live in Singapore, riding a double whereas Zac Purton and Joao Moreira, for whom Singapore was home for so many years, chipped in with a winner apiece.

X FACTOR 4

When Berry, fighting back the tears, talked about how Singapore was where twin brother Nathan rode his last race, and the story of a butterfly that followed him from the paddock to behind the barriers and that angel on his shoulder riding with him, THIS was the highlight of the night.

X FACTOR 5

This is what racing is often missing: Raw emotion that cuts through tiresome Oy Oy Oy twittering from oldsters who just don’t, or refuse to understand that We Are The World.

It cuts through parochial bollocks, cuts through “Hong Kong dominance” lead stories, cuts through the impor ts to the heart of the matter.

Simply put, the way Tommy Berry continues to conduct himself and wear his heart on his sleeve forces us to be better people.

It goes beyond racing and is the inspiration many of us need in our lives to keep going- to never lose sight of life’s priorities.

X FACTOR 6

For this, we should be eternally grateful to the young jockey while hoping those running racing clubs understand the very human side of racing and how this can be translated into changing the perception of racing being only about winning and losing and damn that middle ground about caring for our fellow man- and the role each of us “common folk” plays to keep the sport alive.

Thanks, Tommy.

X FACTOR 7

Posted in brett prebble, casper fownes, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, SINGAPORE TURF CLUB, Tommy Berry | 1 Comment