I hate to blow my own trumpet but if I don’t do it, who will and so a few I told you So’s: I told you the local riders will be amongst the winners on Wednesday, I told you to follow them for value- whaaah? Keith Yeung brings home Peppermint at 50s!- I told you Saddler’s Lodge and Gem Of India will flop, I told you Little Timmy Clark will win on Hei Hei Posh, I told you Mosse will go walkies and I also told you local punters couldn’t care less about quality. Just give them some races to bet on and, despite the average eight race card, turnover was closing in on a billion with around HK$190m wagered on the last race and most of it coming for that suck of a horse called Bundle Of Love.
Again, I told you: This horse will suck you in and spit you out. The one thing I am kicking myself about is not saying that I thought the red hot favorite that night- Kick Serve- is a very average horse, was ridiculously unders and one to ignore for a while. Or for the rest of the season. And then after all this, I turned around and called myself a right knob for leaving out Romantic City in the last and losing out on twenty tickets going onto the last leg of the treble. Each ticket paid over HK$49,000. Excuse while I kiss the sky and slit my wrists.
Sunday’s card has a few all-weather races and it remains to be seen what The Riddler and his team- John Ridley- have done to the track and pray that the going is not “sloppy wet” again. These dirt races are tough enough without The Riddler kicking more sand in our faces.
Dirt aside, the race promises to get that tote board working overtime- a very good race with Tony Cruz quickly backing up the unlucky and perennial runner up Green Manner and with Dougie Whyte jumping on the horse for the sidelined Matty Chadwick. Honestly, it should win, but it should have at least three times before. If there are to be any dangers, these would be Deep Thinker, Honey King Prawn, Speedygonzales which just might give Tom Quealy his first winner in Hong Kong, and, for value, Benefactor.
The Durban Turban should piss in on Happy Era in Race 3- The Griffin Trophy and has chances in Races 4 and 8 and where he rides El Grande for David Hall with the trainer’s Go To jockey- Brett Prebble on Flying China. Frankly, I can never follow the Hall stable which the local racing media love to hate. Yes, every sport needs a bad guy wearing a black hat- and, rightly or wrongly, David Hall is that man.
What I still can’t understand is all the bagging he received during International Week from those who knew him from his days in Oz.
I have never met the man in my life but he has a nice smile, but all that bagging about ignoring those whom he once knew reached fever pitch at one time.
As I said, he wouldn’t know me from a bar of dhal but when I yelled out, “Dave, is that you, man?” when I last saw him at Happy Valley and he blanked me, I thought to myself, where there’s smoke there’s a long dark hallway.
Still with my new mate David Hall, it’s interesting to see that Prebble is riding “Hallys” Five Stars Hotel two pounds over in Race 6, a very tough looking race with me leaning towards Caga Spirit, Champion Ranger,China Angel and maybe Life Of Beauty, the sister of The Life Of Brian.
But I still wonder why Brett Prebble is checking into that horse hotel two pounds over after a crappy run on the dirt at its last start. But there’s dirt and there’s turf and there’s a world of difference between the two.
Jeez, it really is a very tough card, especially, if tackling the Six Up and Triple Trio and where we might see some big jackpots building up for the Christmas and New Year meetings. There’s a strategy to drawing up these cards and with firm business objectives in mind.
Apart from Races 3 and 11, I am lost. In Race 5, for example, I like Panther Run and Good Thinker, but both are drawn in the boonies and so almost forced to turn to Ambassadorship and which has Wayward Weichong Marwing on its back.
At least it’s drawn barrier three which really should curtail Wayward’s habit of running off to grab a McMuffin with his mate Ronald McDonald.
The dirt races? Gawd knows, perhaps not even The Riddler knows though Rhumba King taking a class drop to contest Race 9 is interesting as is Happy Index with Gerard Mosse up and though drawn barrier 11, this should suit The Parrot perfectly. Both horses needs a dirt track to put their best hooves forward and we’ll just have to wait and see what John “The Riddler” Ridley has created for entertainment.
In the race before, I like the Zac Attack aboard Jolly Victor. The boy has had a sensational year and now only if he learnt how to tie a knot which is skinnier than his chicken neck. Well, no one’s perfect.
Below Zac and his tie made from a curtain is Matty Chadwick,third from left, auditioning for West Side Story by wearing Tony Cruz’s hand-me-downs from the Sixties.
On Sunday, apart from Cosmic Boom, John Moore doesn’t appear to have a strong hand and whom I hear is missing all the hard work Darren Beadman put into trackwork and getting all those horses ready for their glory days. Who can he go to today? Brett Prebble? Nah? Neil Callan? Nah, theirs is a different type of relationship. Little Timmy Clark? After losing the ride on Dan Excel, we hope he doesn’t spend too much time listening to false promises. The Hobbit can speak to Brian York about all of that and why he walked away from being Moore The Merrier.