(Courtesy of http://www.fasttrack.hk)
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.
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.
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.
THE WHYTE FACTOR
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
THE ANNUAL HK-MACAU DWARF THROWING INTERPORT
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?”
It was left to the following twittering dialogue which left us none the wiser other than to think, what another waste of money.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Apart from Sugar with Moreira up, I can’t see anything else winning this with Hughie Bowman aboard Mellifluent giving him a little competition.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Quartet- Multiple banker Vara Pearl onto 1,2,3,4,6,8,10.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
BEST BET R10 TRAVEL BROTHER
NEXT BEST R9 DIVINE DIYA
LONGSHOT R4 ORIENTAL FANTASIA
LAY R6 SPLENDID DAYS
JOCKEY CHALLENGE JOAO MOREIRA
SARIKA’S HOT SIX UP
Selections for Sha Tin from Third Dividend
SHA TIN (HKG)
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.
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)
Race 5: Vara Pearl (7)
Race 3: Melifluent (7)
Race 9: Ka Ying Kid (9) – Currently, $4.20/$2.50
Race 6: Jaeger Bomb (6) – Currently, $14.00/$3.40
QUADDIE ($100 gets you 208%)
SELECTIONS FROM THE BIG APPLE (@SW064351)
Race 10, No. 10 Packing Llaregyb
Won under a big weight last time. Can make it three on the trot.
Race 5, No. 7 Vara Pearl
Made up a stack of ground after missing the start. Set to make amends.
Race 6, No. 13 Golden Gunners
Endured a tough run in his previous start. An improved showing wouldn’t surprise.
2,4,5,8 / 9,12,14 / 5,8,13 / 2,10. $50 for 69.44%.
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