What’s all this talk about Michael Rodd, below, coming out to ride in Hong Kong?
Sure, he won an award from one of the local racing newspaper for being The Sunshine Jockey when last out here and was always smiling despite getting very few rides- and then breaking his arm and getting even fewer rides- but why would he bother coming out here when one of the most in-demand jockeys in Melbourne?
Perhaps wife Cara wants to do some shopping.
We weren’t there, but we were told that last Wednesday at the races, a LOUD rumor from the usual Hong Kong Racevine of epic twister proportions made its way throughout that dingy, dirty and rundown looking area that leads to the parade ring- gawd, can someone at least get rid of those depressing fluorescent lights in The Panic Room?- and, nah, it wasn’t that an American will join the HK training ranks.
Our old bon ami Patrick “Snakeoil” Biancone has a better chance of being granted a trainer’s license.
No this twister was that a high-profile Steward would be leaving to replace Racing NSW’s Uncle Ray “Mr Spanky” Murrihy.
Well, “Mr Spanky” is no spring chicken and his reign of terror is coming to an end, but Eliot, leaving his Ness to work under Lord V’Lundies? Really?
Meanwhile, we’re glad to hear that Darren Beadman has finally had his insurance claim settled and hope that the small print and clauses don’t affect his new role with Darley.
The Dazzler deserves better than a hiccup like that after all he’s gone through and done for racing and any legal pettiness which tries to deprive anyone of their livelihood will not be tolerated.
FAST TRACK’S TIPS FOR BMW DERBY DAY AT SHATIN
THE FAST TRACKER DRIVES HIS SPANKING NEW BMW TO SHATIN.
This really is a great card that’s been served up and should make up for the disappointment of expecting so much from the races at Randwick yesterday and with the end result being receiving so little with even the weather gods raining on that and many other parades at racing tracks throughout Oz.
If there was a highlight at Randwick, good as they were, it wasn’t the brilliant winning rides by young James McDonald on Junoop and Villa Verde. No, it was Jimmy “The Pumper” Cassidy, below. proving that age is only a frame of mind with a tough, determined and magnificent ride to get the Peter Moody-trained Dissident past El Roca and take out the Randwick Guineas.
As for the Young Mac, he is here to ride Dr Gene Choi’s Mr Gnocchi, which will need some major doses of that young Mac magic if it’s to win.
From winning on Villa Verde and Junoop, below, to then taking a nine-hour flight to go around on Mr Gnocchi?
Hopefully, he can show us his talent on some real winning chances.
Elsewhere, it looks like being another good day for Joao Moreira- but Dougie Whyte has an excellent book of rides- while I’ll be closely watching Lucky Eighty Eight tackling the 2000m BMW Derby- and not from any punting perspective. Gawd no.
I know the horse from its days in Oz when named Stralia and trained by that lovable rogue Mark “If you aren’t prepared to pay me a million for it, don’t waste my time” Reilly.
Despite what many are still mumbling about and how the buyers in Hong Kong were sucker-punched, I have it almost from the horse’s mouth that the purchase price didn’t come anywhere near the million dollar mark- or the Mark Reilly. And the way things have gone pear-shaped for the horse since being here, that’s more than good to know.
Another horse, also formerly from Oz, racing today, and which came here with word that it wasn’t worth the purchase- but always said by those who are only guessing what the purchase price was- and getting it very wrong- is Vanilla which raced as Phillipi for that well-known ladies man and friend of female jockeys and female stable hands- horse trainer, Mick “Mr Dick” Kent.
Knowing something about “Mr Dick” from his days in Macau and then in Melbourne, if a horse is any good, he’d never let it go.
So, it’s worth following the runs of Vanilla and wondering if it will ever be as delicious as a tub of Dreyer’s vanilla ice-cream or just plod along like a tub of lard.
As for today’s races, I’ve tried to see where there might be some value and, maybe apart from Race 6, I just can’t see any.
Unless Designs On Rome and Khaya get rolled, the Six Up, the third Double Trio and treble will pay squat.
It might make sense to take a six up for a couple of thousand by standing out Gold-Fun, Designs On Rome and Khaya and going slightly wide in races 5, 6 and 10.
Keep this and buy another Six Up for $5 and leave out all the favorites, or at least, keep Designs On Rome, but add three more horses in the Derby and drop Gold Fun, Khaya and Santa Fe Sun.
Whatever you do, go forth and multiply.
R1 GOLD TARTINI/DANESOUTH/LUCKY CHOICE/STARLIT WARRIOR
Give this curtain raiser a wide berth and go grab the good stuff from the buffet table before some idiot fills their plate up with curries, noodles, prawns, oysters, salad and desserts and cleans out the buffet table.
R2 NUMERO UNO/BIG SHOT
Looks like the quinella.
R3 AH BO/CIRCUIT FORTUNE/HOW SPEEDY/STAR MAJESTIC
If around 5 or 6 to 1, I’d have something on Circuit Fortune and use it as a banker with the others mentioned above for the tierce.
Then, buy it as the first leg of the third double onto Celestial Smile in the next.
Frankly, Numero Uno, Circuit Fortune, Celestial Smile and Big Four or Sichuan Exec can result in a decent 4×1 All Up Win payout.
R4 CELESTIAL SMILE
After three close placings under Zac Purton, the connections have gone to The Magic Man for a change in fung shui.
The good fung shui should work with legs for the tierce being Industrial Way, Grand Harbour and Sugar City with the lightly-weighted Really The Best being a good outsider to creep in at decent odds.
R5 BIG FOUR/SICHUAN EXEC/CLUB LIFE
The team of Size and Moreira on Sichuan Exec will start at very short odds, but, though the horse will definitely run a place for TT players, this race is not that cut and dry when it comes to the winner.
R6 TEOFILO CALVA/ALL THE BEST/BESPOKE MASTER/GAOLING LUCKY STAR/DINING STAR
Again the Size-Moreira team will be to the fore with last start winner Teofilo Calva- but, jeez, the Irish gelding has not run for four months, which is very worrying for a runner that will start favorite overnight- and with this trend set to continue on race day. Believing overnight odds is a recipe for disaster.
Gaoling Lucky Star, Bespoke Master and Dining Star, which has, very surpringly, been suddenly switched from Caspar Fownes to Tony Millard could upset without surprising.
R7 FLAGSHIP SHINE/GOLD FUN/LUCKY NINE/SMART VOLATILITY
Anyone with even a half a heart must want Caspar Fownes and Lucky Nine to win this race.
Cas and this magnificent old galloper are like Timmy and Ol’ Yeller, Elizabeth Taylor and National Velvet and The Lone Ranger and Silver.
The two are joined at the hip.
Like an aging parent who needs to keep active, the trainer knows what keeps Lucky Nine going is to race- and win- which is why, the horse is patched up and goes out for one more fight.
After its last win, even Cas has admitted that patching up Lucky Nine has been difficult.
Still, like that other mighty local galloper- Derek Cruz’s version of Lucky Nine in Joy And Fun- the galloper steps out again with regular rider Brett Prebble aboard and even if thinking it surely cannot win again, you’ll still be cheering him- and Cas- and Brett- on.
R8 DESIGNS ON ROME
Whenever John Moore opens up to the SCMP’s racing writer Alan Aitken about the chances of each of his horses, I feel queasy as it’s TOO much information.
These days, he’s “worried” about Dibayani being “a danger”, which probably means that his horses will fill the first four places with Designs Of Rome looking more bullet-proof than Iron Man on a rusty day.
R9 KHAYA/EXECUTIVE MANDATE/FANTASTIC KAKA
IF one were to take Khaya outta this race which is saddled with the topweight, barrier 14 and running against some decent gallopers that can handle the 1800 metres it tackles here, this race becomes wide open. Having said this, Khaya is in the race and, apart from perhaps Executive Mandate, it’s very tough to see him being beaten.
R10 SANTA FE SUN
With John Moore having two runners in this race- Rewarding Hero and Victory General, I have to wonder which one is the stable elect- or is it a dead-set quinella and only Santa Fe Sun with Douglas Whyte up- is he now also out of Moore’s favor?- capable of splitting them?
For me, I’ll take Santa Fe Sun over the Moore horses along with Glorious Sunday which, very surprisingly, has left the John Size stable where it’s done very well for the yard of Richard Gibson.
One can only assume the connections were unhappy with the horse’s last run or Sizey got tired of their whinging and showed them the door.
By the way, my voodoo horse- Autumn Gold- returns- and gelded- in this race to spook me- and just might place.
One has to wonder, however, why it took so long for the poor thing to lose his nuts as he always seemed like such a docile guy unlike the horny as hell Akeed Mofeed.
BEST BET- 4X1 ALL UP WIN
R2 NUMERO UNO (2)
R4 CELESTIAL SMILE(2)
R5 BIG FOUR (5)
R8 DESIGNS ON ROME (2)
R9 EXECUTIVE MANDATE (2)
SARIKA’S SIX UP
SELECTIONS FROM THE BIG APPLE (@SW064351)
HONG KONG DERBY
Race 8, No. 2 Designs On Rome
Emerging star of Hong Kong racing and looks a class above these. The one to beat.
Race 5, No. 5 Big Four
Just failed to grab Sichuan Exec after he got an easy lead. Set to make amends here.
Race 10, No. 3 Victory Master
Vastly improved effort last outing and has won this course and distance. Should be in the finish.
Race 9, No. 7 Admiral Lord
Racing consistently and last two runs here have been sound. Worth thought.
Race 6, No. 10 Teofilo Calva
Up in class and more depth to this line-up. Talented, but value elsewhere.
1,2 / 1,2 / 1,4,6,7 / 1,3,5,11,12,13. $50 for 52.08%.
TODAY’S SELECTIONS FOR SHA TIN FROM THIRD DIVIDEND
SHA TIN (HKG)
Day Races @HKJC_Racing
Turf (“C” Course)
Weather: Mainly cloudy. Sunny periods during the day with a maximum temperature of around 20 degrees. Visibility relatively low in some areas later. Moderate easterly winds.
1 – Gold Tartini (10)
2 – Danesouth (7)
3 – Funny Fortune (4)
4 – Yuan’s Fortune (3)
1 – Numeron Uno (2)
2 – Reborn To Win (8)
3 – Big Shot (6)
4 – Hit The Bid (4)
1 – Circuit Fortune (3)
2 – How Speedy (5)
3 – Ah Bo (8)
4 – Legend Express (1)
1 – Celestial Smile (2)
2 – Grand Harbour (9)
3 – Robust Momentum (12)
4 – Lucky Dan (6)
1 – I’m In Charge (9)
2 – Sichuan Exec (3)
3 – Big Four (5)
4 – Gallant Triumph (1)
1 – All The Best (4)
2 – Dining Star (11)
3 – Teofilo Calva (10)
4 – Full Talent (12)
Race 7 (Q1):
1 – Gold Fun (1)
2 – Lucky Nine (2)
3 – Super Lifeline (9)
4 – Flagship Shine (7)
Race 8 (Q2):
1 – Able Friend (1)
2 – Designs On Rome (2)
3 – Dibayani (6)
4 – Beauty Flame (5)
Race 9 (Q3):
1 – Khaya (1)
2 – Fantastic Kaka (6)
3 – Towering Storm (8)
4 – Malaysan Pearl (14)
Race 10 (Q4):
1 – Santa Fe Sun (12)
2 – Dalwari (8)
3 – Victory Master (3)
4 – Rewarding Hero (1)
Race 4: Celestial Smile (2)
Race 9: Khaya (1)
Race 3: Circuit Fortune (3)
Race 6: All The Best (4) – Currently $12.00/$4.50
Quaddie ($100 gets you 39%)
THE PARTING SHOT