BECAUSE WE’RE NOT ALL MIND READERS.
As we don’t roll with les bon amis of Hong Kong’s exclusive horse racing fraternity, and, therefore, not privy to the ins, outs and sideways of who’s zooming who and what’s going on in people’s private lives, we were only told about the reasons for the silence surrounding Tye Angland’s whereabouts after our supposedly “insensitive” Saturday post came out asking where the very much-in-demand and popular jockey was?
“Insensitive”? About what?
Were we supposed to know something of a personal nature just because the The Old Wives Club Of Hong Kong Racing did?
Who or what brought this on?
Wait, we know.
Ankle biters aside, in the name of “transparency”, perhaps a simple, “Jockey Tye Angland is still away on personal business”-type message with the day’s race card would put a full stop to any Chinese whispers and not leave things up in the air for so long before suddenly deciding to shut the barnyard door after the horse has bolted?
Same with jockeys suspended or on the injured list: Remind/inform racing fans about these and, again, like informing punters of blinkers being applied for the first time and the entire paraphernalia changes, also inform them of all stable changes.
Punters can never get enough information.
With wild rumours and half-truths making the rounds regularly in Hong Kong’s gossip-riddled racing world- there was a new boozy doozy after this weekend that still has tongues wagging- as in a Stipes Report, perhaps some form of “semi-disclosure” should be part of a communications strategy in place- and before the usual knee-jerk reactions take place too late that has everyone wondering who’s been minding the store.
Meanwhile, as the reason for Tye Angland still being away in Australia was finally explained to us- via email-by a senior executive with the HKJC- and told to us off the record- all we can say is that we wish him only the very best of everything at what must be a tough time for the popular hoop.
Family comes first and only the talented young rider can decide what’s best for him- and those closest to him.
THE STRANGE CASE OF JOCKEY TERRY HORE
One of the most bizarre Hong Kong racing stories looks like being made into a movie- if the writers can make sense of it all.
Though for decades, there have been stories of a “ghost jockey” having been seen when there used to be trackwork at Happy Valley and said to be jockey Marcel Samarcq who died in a race fall at the city track in the late Fifties, the case involving Australian jockey Terry Hore made headlines when it happened, but one that has now been erased as the sands of time have buried it in a blur.
Until now that is as an American film production company is in Hong Kong trying to fill in the missing holes of what is a fascinating story.
In those relatively early days of Hong Kong racing, Terry Hore was considered an extremely good jockey and very popular with local punters.
One Saturday race meeting, however, he never showed up and was later found dazed and confused in a bar in Wanchai with no recollection of what had happened.
Memory loss, amnesia, call it what you will, but that was Terry Hore’s story and he stuck to it.
We have no idea if Hore resumed riding here, or whether he returned to Australia, but he certainly left with a story made up of some intriguing plots and sub-plots.
JH MAZELMANN’S ARMY OF 23 RUNNERS AT MACKAY OUT-GUN JOHN MOORE!
For those whose who become, well, confused, when John Moore enters his army of Big Gun runners in the big Cup races, well, that’s nothing compared to what happened at Mackay yesterday.
This was when trainer JH Mazelmann entered nine runners in a nine horse field and with seven of the runners owned by, yes, JH Mazelmann.
So who won? A horse trained by JH Mazelmann whereas JH Mazelmann also saddled up the quinella, trifecta, the first four and even the first nine.
JH Manzelmann cut things back in the next race by saddling up only four runners while entering nine more runners- eight of which he owned- in the other five races on the seven race card.
John Manzelmann had a good day at the office.
THE FAST TRACKER SLOWS DOWN.
After The Nights Of The Big Rain over the weekend when Thor went nuts and made Hong Kong look and sound like Armageddon and though most of yesterday was relatively rain free, still, tread gently at Happy Valley tonight and watch out for pot holes.
The city track is a mysterious lady at the best of times, but IF there is a softish track to contend with and a number of short-priced favorites come up throughout the card, either make it to the Beer Garden or Adrenaline and mingle, or else throw the form book away and, like me, have a wager on those horses that like the Valley track while looking at the jockey engagements.
With The Zac Attack all but home with the Jockey Premiership in the bag, interest moves onto the Trainers Premiership where there’s a clump at the top and with any of four trainers in it to win it- John Size, John Moore, Caspar Fownes and Tony Cruz.
Looking at the remarkable prize money the equally remarkable John Moore has won so far this season, one doubts winning the Premiership is a priority, but might be a nice little eclair to add to his sweet cupboard of Cups.
Caspar Fownes, meanwhile, has been firing on all cylinders at his favorite hunting grounds- Happy Valley- before the city track closes for a “refresher course”.
Tonight, he looks to have another winner with Domineer without any one particular trainer looking to have a stronger hand than the other.
What do I think?
Forgetting the first two races, an upset in Races 4.
R1 KIM GLORY/COPY STAR/MR AWARD/WINE LOVERS
I have never heard of many of these runners and so will just go with those racing down a class though I know nothing about them along with a few old-time favorites.
R2 GENTILIS/CHEERS VICTORIES/FRESH AIR/PERI PERI SAFFRON
Could turn out to be a battle to the wire between Whyte on Fresh Air and Purton on his Gentilis.
R3 LONGWAH AMBER/WHY WHY/GENUINE LEADER/
Following horses from the Gary Ng stable is tough work as his training techniques are quite baffling.
In this race, he has the $7.5m purchase Longwah Amber entered and which has- not surprisingly- disappointed to date.
Still, Douglas Whyte has gone after the ride and which must mean something- like him, hopefully, also helping with the training of a galloper that’s been very slow from the barriers.
Though it has trialled well at the Valley when it jumped out like a bullet, who knows what will happen on race day?
R4 BACKBENCH BLUES/DRAGON PINS/COOL BEAN/GOLD TARTINI
I’m going out wide here in a tough first leg of the Triple Trio and leaving out possible favorites Hei Hei Posh and Navel Orange, both of which need to make runs from the back.
Backbench Blues has been a huge disappointment, but its last stop-start run wasn’t too bad and should suit the riding style of Hughie Bowman who’s too damn good a jockey to go winless for much longer.
Richard Gibson turns to the in-form Matty Chadwick for Dragon Pins, Cool Bean and Gold Tartini are well in at the weights whereas Sparkling Dragon has been racing nearly every week and won’t be lacking in fitness though probably a bloody tired horse.
R5 MAZANDARAN/SMART UNION/DILIGENT 111/PEARL STAR
The Tony Cruz-trained Mazandaran looked set for a cosy win at its last start after being given a beaut of a ride by Dougie Whyte before being swamped right on the line by the unpredictable Panther Run.
Despite topweight and looking a bit one-paced, but with Whyte sticking with it, Mazandaran should be in the top three with the Derek Cruz runner Smart Union and Diligent 111 being other place hopes.
On a win line, however, Mazandaran, which will start at short odds, can be easily rolled in a race of pretty one-paced gallopers.
R6 ONGOING VOLATILITY/INVICTUS/LUCKY HAMMER
The SoHo combination of jockey Ben So and trainer Peter Ho combine with Ongoing Volatility which was a good thing beaten at its last start at Happy Valley when ridden upside down by Howard Cheng in a Class 4 event.
Though racing up a class and facing tougher opposition, it should go close with the John Moore-trained Invictus and Tommy Berry up and Zac Purton on Dennis Yip’s Lucky Hammer being the ones to beat.
R7 DOMINEER/YEE CHONG STAR/WELL DONE
To a number of those on twitter who follow Hong Kong racing from overseas, Domineer is meant to be a sit and steer job.
Having said this, its last piece of work around ten days ago looked bloody awful though, perhaps, looks can be deceiving.
R8 YOU READ MY MIND/SEASON STAR/KINGS STEED/MASSIVE IMPACT
A tough last race made tougher by not knowing how badly the track might be cut up by then.
Being the last leg to the Six Up and the treble plus the second Quartet race for the night, I’d live dangerously and go hunting for value.
BEST BET R6 LUCKY HAMMER
NEXT BEST R3 LONGWAH AMBER
LONGSHOT R8 MASSIVE IMPACT
SARIKA’S SASSY SIX UP
Selections for Happy Valley from Third Dividend 14.5.14
Happy Valley (HKG)
Night Races @HKJC_Racing
Turf (“C” Course-Worked Back)
Weather: Mainly cloudy with a few showers at first. Sunny intervals during the day. The maximum temperature will be around 30 degrees. Moderate southwesterly winds.
Race 1: PONT-DE-PIERRE HANDICAP, 14/05/2014, 19:15, Class 5, Turf, “C” Course, 1000m, Good to Yielding
1 – Kim Glory (2)
2 – Mr Award (3)
3 – Mighty Gains (6)
4 – Wine Lovers (8)
Race 2: GARONNE HANDICAP, 14/05/2014, 19:45, Class 4, Turf, “C” Course, 1200m, Good to Yielding
1 – Cheers Victories (7)
2 – Gentilis (1)
3 – Peri Peri Saffron (2)
4 – Hayhay (8)
Race 3: GARONNE HANDICAP, 14/05/2014, 20:15, Class 4, Turf, “C” Course,
1200m, Good to Yielding
1 – Longwah Amber (9)
2 – Why Why (3)
3 – Great Run (2)
4 – Genuine Champion (5)
Race 4: GRAND THEATRE HANDICAP, 14/05/2014, 20:45, Class 4, Turf, “C” Course, 1800m, Good to Yielding
1 – Navel Orange (9)
2 – Backbench Blues (2)
3 – Cool Bean (7)
4 – Full Of Fun (10)
Race 5 (Q1): MUSEE D’AQUITAINE HANDICAP, 14/05/2014, 21:15, Class 4, Turf, “C” Course, 1650m, Good to Yielding
1 – Pearl Star (8)
2 – Mazandaran (1)
3 – Penny Lane (4)
4 – Diligent III (5)
Race 6 (Q2): THE SAUTERNES CUP (HANDICAP), 14/05/2014, 21:45, Class 3, Turf, “C” Course, 1650m, Good to Yielding
1 – Lucky Hammer (8)
2 – Victory Hero (9)
3 – Flying Unicorn (1)
4 – Invictus (6)
Race 7 (Q3): BORDEAUX HANDICAP, 14/05/2014, 22:15, Class 3, Turf, “C” Course, 1200m, Good to Yielding
1 – Domineer (7)
2 – Tango Fire (4)
3 – Ultimate Glory (8)
4 – Yee Cheong Star (6)
Race 8 (Q4): BORDEAUX HANDICAP, 14/05/2014, 22:50, Class 3, Turf, “C” Course, 1200m, Good to Yielding
1 – King’s Speed (8)
2 – Affluence of Rain (3)
3 – Pearl Win (9)
4 – Seasons Star (10)
Race 5: Pearl Star (8)
Raec 8: King’s Speed (8)
Race 4: Navel Orange (9) – Currently, $6.70/$2.50
Race 1: Captain America (5) – Currently, $12.00/$4.00
QUADDIE ($100 get you 69.4%)
SELECTIONS FROM THE BIG APPLE (@SW064351)
Race 6, No. 8 Lucky Hammer
Drew away for a cosy win last start. The one to beat.
Race 2, No. 7 Cheers Victories
Finished strongly behind Well Done. Take holding out.
Race 5, No. 12 Skip Court
Racing consistently of late. Knockout hope.
1,5,8,12 / 8,9 / 1,7,12 / 2,3,9,10. $50 for 52.08%.
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