(Courtesy of http://www.fasttrack.hk)
STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH
Let’s be frank: There are many in Hong Kong’s often petty racing world who would love to see Douglas Whyte knocked off his pedestal. And the jockey knows who they are despite them dribbling to his face about their great “respect” for him.
The dribbling has gone on when many dribblers were counting him out against Brett Prebble and, more recently, Zac Purton.
This is when The Whyte Man is at his most lethal and out there and instead of Tarzan looking for Jane, on the hunt for good rides and cutting his competitors off at the pass.
Not the most popular rider in the jockeys room, he has never tried to win the Popularity Stakes.
If Bruce Springsteen was born to run, then Douglas Whyte was born to ride- and win- at all costs.
Yes, the champion jockey for thirteen consecutive years, is selfish, aloof and to many, can be a bit of a tool- just ask Alessandro, the racing-mad Italian manager of the restaurant called Da Domenico- but, hey, we all are-and can be- depending which way the wind blows and if there’s a bad moon rising.
The dribbling has started up again and these days, the dribblers are saying that Joao Moreira is set to give Whyte a run for his money.
Alan “Hats” Aitken wrote a very good piece yesterday in the South China Morning Post about Moreira, the Douglas Whyte of Singapore, who really had no competition in the Lion City.
Moreira was in the Premier League, his competition was in another division and the major bets were on how many wins the Brazilian would win on any given racing day. Eight was enough.
The affable and modest Moreira mentioned how he wasn’t thinking of “dethroning” Whyte, but looking at improving himself as a rider, taking things as they come and looking at every jockey as competition. And he’s right.
One really cannot compare racing in Singapore with racing in Hong Kong, and the great expectations around Moreira must be tempered with Dickensian reality.
Perhaps for the first time in his riding career, he’ll come up against truly International competition on a long-term basis despite having occasionally ridden in Australia for Big Nathan Tinkler, having won the Hong Kong International Jockeys Challenge last year and making a cameo appearance in the recent Farce Of Hohot in Inner Mongolia.
In Hong Kong, the ultra-talented Joao Moreira- a huge coup by Steve Railton with the HKJC’s Licensing Committee to get this marquee-value name here- has to match wits and riding skills with Whyte, Purton and Mosse along with Karis Teetan, Tye Angland and, if he returns, Brett Prebble, who won the AUS$100 Pinker Pinker at Cranbourne last night on Keep De Rose.
Add to this the young guns that will return for flying visits to Hong Kong- Maxime Guyon and Umberto Rispoli- and, possibly, Christophe Soumillon.
Moreira would be the first person to downplay any hype around him. Who would wanna ride under unnecessary pressure in what will be a baptism of fire, anyway? Plus, he’s a damn nice bloke.
As for Douglas Whyte, as long as he stops riding Autumn Gold for Sean Woods and never again invests in tinpot mines in the boonies of the Philippines, he will be more than fine.
Hong Kong has been very good to him just as the city has been to many others who would be working to pay their taxes “back home”.
He knows his pull when it comes to turnover, he’ll shrug his shoulders and relish proving the knockers wrong and use the backstabbers like an O’Jays song without them knowing it.
Personally speaking, what’s key is looking out for Number One- ME- and looking at what’s in it for ME and only caring if whoever wins has MY money on them.
The childish politics of being on Team Douglas or Team Zac or Team Joao or Team Tits, well, that’s for teenagers into the Twilight series which, by now, has one singing Fangs For The Memories.
Other than that, just enjoy the truly world class racing that only Hong Kong provides and watch very good and disciplined athletes doing their very best.
More than anything else, ensure you end up backing winners.
THE FAST TRACKER ON TODAY AT SHATIN
We see Gerard Mosse back in action in Hong Kong today, and after riding Group One horses in Europe, it remains to be seen how long it will take him to get used to riding “zee Class 4 and Class 5 goats, bay-bay”.
His long-time friends- Tony Cruz and Caspar Fownes- have given him a few rides which are good chances without being anything special. Mega Champion in race 1 looks his best chance of riding a winner and showing everyone that The Parrot is back. Richard Gibson just got excited hearing the word “parrot” and squawked, “Karen wants a cracker?”
Whyte, Purton and Angland have good books of rides, but with many chances hurt through bad barriers which makes punting on them problematic.
No one said life would be easy, but they also didn’t say it wouldn’t be so damn tough.
Meanwhile, Jockey Of The Moment Karis Teetan rides two strong winning chances for John Moore- Designs On Rome in The Chinese Recreation Club Cup where the trainer has two other runners, and Able Friend which won so easily for Tommy Berry at its debut- but up a class, drawn barrier 14 and comes up against another first start winner in the Chris So-trained Military Secret.
It’s a surprising move by the champion trainer who usually turns to Zac Purton, Dougie Whyte or Weichong Marwing and how “Tits” does on these two rides will decide which way this partnership goes- north, south, east or west. Or just goes tits up.
As for the Jockey Challenge, it looks like being between Whyte, Purton and Teetan while the toughest races being races 5 and 6. Holy crap, Batman!
Race 2 looks like being an early laisee packet for the local boys.
BEST BET: BERLINSKI (RACE 8,6)
NEXT BEST: ABLE FRIEND (RACE 10, 10)
LONGSHOT: SURROUNDED (RACE 6,10)
THE FINDING HAPPY WEDNESDAY ENTOURAGE SIX UP
Sarika’s finger tips did extremely well on Wednesday before it tired the poor girl out.
In fact, she’s so pooped, she’s left this week’s Six Up selection to Natalie who wouldn’t know Zac Purton from Richard Burton and David Hall from Hall and Oates.
HARLOW DALI AND HIS PICTURE TIPS
SELECTIONS FROM THE BIG APPLE (@SW064351)
Race 10, No. 3 Sea Diamond
Multiple C&D winner that has fallen victim of late to several troubled trips. Will be perfectly placed just off the speed on the rail and be flying home.
Race 9, No. 8 Mizani
Hit the line strongly for a close third behind Same World despite covering ground. Gets a more suitable trip here and will be hard to deny.
Race 7, No. 11 Smart Ball
Kept on okay in his lone start over dry going and can fancy over further.
TODAY’S SELECTIONS FROM THE THIRD DIVIDEND
SHA TIN (HONG KONG)
Day Races @HKJC_Racing
Turf (“A+3” Course)
Weather: Mainly fine. Dry during the day. The maximum temperature will be around 31 degrees. Moderate east to northeasterly winds, occasionally fresh later.
Race 1: Begonia CL3 Hcp
1 – Mega Champion (3)
2 – Better Announce (8)
3 – Turbo Jewellery (1)
4 – Crackerjack (2)
Race 2: Cassia CL4 Hcp
1 – Pure Force (4)
2 – Jade Christy (1)
3 – El Grande (3)
4 – Joy Together (9)
Race 3: Dianthus CL5 Hcp
1 – Bamboo Dance (2)
2 – Bullish Power (4)
3 – Spicy Siam (8)
4 – Namjong Turbo (7)
Race 4: FA PO CL4 Hcp
1 – K-Moochi (4)
2 – Golden Addiction (3)
3 – Dragon Keeper (9)
4 – News Supreme (2)
Race 5: Magnolia CL4 Hcp
1 – Lucky Bonus (6)
2 – Winning Boy (5)
3 – Ambitious Glory (1)
4 – Dragon Glory (2)
Race 6: Osmanthus CL4 Hcp
1 – Jack’s Gem (12)
2 – Forever Ahead (11)
3 – Super Horse (6)
4 – Dashing Super (8)
Race 7 (Q1): To Yuen CL3 Hcp
1 – Sudden Thunder (6)
2 – Exciting Dream (4)
3 – Mac Row (5)
4 – Plentiful (1)
Race 8 (Q2): Tseuk Kiu CL3 Hcp
1 – Berlinksi (6)
2 – Big Four (5)
3 – Aerovelocity (4)
4 – Winfull Patrol (12)
Race 9 (Q3): Challenge Cup CL1 Hcp
1 – Mizani (8)
2 – Flagship Shine (9)
3 – Designs On Rome (5)
4 – Same World (2)
Race 10 (Q4): Verbena CL2 Hcp
1 – Able Friend (10)
2 – Military Secret (6)
3 – Victorius (13)
4 – Sea Diamond (3)
Race 8: Berlinksi (6)
Race 6: Jack’s Gem (12)
Race 2: Pure Force (4)
Race 1: Crackerjack (2)
Quaddie ($100 gets you %)