(Courtesy of Fast Track)
There’s no Winx at Shatin- and what a stunning seventeenth consecutive win it was at Randwick yesterday by the Queen Of The Turf. She deserves to be a Dame, your Majesty. What a boost for the sport!
As for the Sydney Cup being declared a non-race? It was the right decision.
Let’s just think about Almoonqith and everyone associated with the horse and what they have to wake up to this morning. Let’s also not take for granted the courage and caring of jockey Blake Shinn to make sure that James Doyle was out of harm’s way.
That was “matesmanship”. Horse racing is much more than the punt. It’s not about anonymous keyboard warriors criticising jockeys, or tweeting absolute rubbish often dwarfed and blinded by the Tall Poppy Syndrome. There’s a very human face and side to horse racing that we very often forget to understand and appreciate- and promote and market.
As for Shatin today, it’s a very good card of racing and where we see some of the big equine guns stepping out led by Rapper Dragon. So while the Three Amigos are resting up at their hacienda after a big night out of tequila shots with amigo Jose Cuervo, someone has the thankless task of trying to tip winners that don’t turn into weiners.
On this subject- no, no, not weiners- a round of applause please to those behind the HKJC produced Racing To Win reality tipping series starring racing’s answer to Kim, Khloe and Kourtney for bringing something new to the format.
This has been done by wheeling in what sounds like a brass band into the studio to blast out something, well, suitably brassy- and kinda grippy- during those riveting track work and race replay segments.
It makes for a nice change of pace to the frequent blasts of “Band On The Run” by what sounds like the James Last Orchestra. That once used to be a good little track by Paul McCartney and Wings.
For a REAL change of pace, listen to this, where John Legend sings some of Gordon Ramsay’s greatest insults.
Perhaps Gordon Ramsay should join the Racing To Win team and conduct all those interviews where the jockeys just waffle on about nothing. What can they say when they are not allowed to tip? And so what you get are a bit of this, a bit of that and a smorgasbord of cheese. Not everyone has the almost never ending gift of the gab of Craig Williams. He backs this up by being a very good rider, always professional and is ahead of many others in horse racing when it comes to creating a brand and protecting it.
A bit of a raffle with the day starting out with a Class 4 1000 metre dash where, as usual, the race should favour those drawn the outside barriers. There will be a mad charge of the light brigade for the lead which just might set it up for some Usain Bolt to finish all over the top of the leaders. It’s always satisfying to finish all over the top.
Frankly for very personal reasons, we’re only interested in seeing how first starter Super Goal performs for the David Hall yard with Karis Teetan aboard, definitely one of our favourite jockeys, and pictured below in one of the more surreal settings.
What you see is what you get with the Mauritian Magician- and not some boring smart arse inhaling gossip.
This could result in a huge Quartet payout even if favourite Hit A Home Run were to win. An outsider or two creeping into the first four would not surprise.
We’ll be cheering on our old bon ami Olivier Doleuze, who’s riding winners after a bit of a barren spell, and is not shy to show his unbridled enjoyment when he wins though nothing compared to the on track performances of trainer Gary Moore.
Here’s hoping Ollie, a martial arts expert whose experience in win chung is something to admire, wins on value chance Sunshine Universe (9) which is prepared by Michael Chang, and who has always been very loyal to the affable Frenchman.
A trainer who’s actually loyal to a jockey! Wow! What a concept!
Premiere will be the short-priced favourite and makes a good banker for the second leg of the Triple Trio, but is no good thing to win the race. Keep an eye out for the former Darren Weir trained Dalradian, both pictured below, having his first start in Hong Kong and looks to have worked well enough for a win at his debut. Crikey, doesn’t the jockey look like a young version of Weirdo?
Derek Leung is on board, easily the best of the local jockeys riding today, a good kid, and more than capable of holding his own against the leading foreign jockeys in town. And this includes the Magic Man.
Definitely the toughest leg of the Six Up where anything could win without surprising. Get the winner of this, and if Rapper Dragon and Beauty Generation get beaten in their respective races later on in the day, you could be looking at a very healthy Six Up payout.
The Sprint Cup and this looks like a race in two between Lucky Bubbles (1) and the young upstart Mr Stunning (4). The fly in ointment is the disappointing Thewizardofoz (7) which just might be back to his best and on his way down that yellow brick road.
But stop dreaming, Dorothy. We’re not in Kansas and Brett Prebble could well be blowing lucky bubbles during the presentation ceremony. Anything to not make what are essentially these photo opportunities for a select few such drab affairs.
Amigo Brett Davis made $1.70 favourite Rapper Dragon his Best Bet of the day. And who are we to argue with Braveheart?
There’s nothing like playing it safe and this looks like a bulletproof bet with the one proviso being that Kei Chiong on Horse Of Fortune doesn’t go like the clappers out in front and then suddenly puts on the brakes and creates a messy concertina effect. The pinup girl of Hong Kong racing has become notorious for doing this in races.
In case this happens, we’ll be adding Helene Paragon (1), Contentment (5) and the quirky Limitless (10) in our Six Ups. If Rapper Dragon wins, it’s really a Five Up and the return on your investment will barely buy you a char siu bau at Mott 32.
Other than the win of Rapper Dragon, the run of the race in this year’s Hong Kong Derby was that of debutant Helene Charisma (5) with Douglas Whyte aboard. The galloper was knocked about all over the place, and still managed to run an eye-catching fifth which even Stevie Wonder would have seen.
Somewhat surprisingly, Whyte retains the ride along with winning the ride on Helene Paragon for trainer John Moore, despite a few other leading riders beating down the door to get on both horses.
Beauty Generation (3) is the favourite for the race, but one can’t help thinking that The Miracle Of Moore has yet to touch this galloper.
We’d rather look to Eagle Way (4), and for value, Dinozzo (9) and another John Size trained runner in Enreaching (14), which has the somewhat surprising services of Ben TS So. Ben So riding for John Size? Why not? When the money’s on, he delivers. Just ask David Hall and Peter Ho. The So-Hall and SoHo combinations are often deadly accurate when it comes to results.
Guess there’s got to be a race to round off proceedings, and we’re stuck with this one- a bit of a comedown from the earlier feast of racing with its marquee value names, but, sometimes, one needs to suck on those fried chicken wings.
At least on paper, there appear to be only four winning chances- Happy Agility (5), Spicy Sure (4), Daring Fit (8) and, maybe, the lightly weighted G-One Lover, which has apprentice Dylan Mo aboard, who will play Catch Me If You Can, but without the craftiness of the character Leonardo DeCaprio played in the film of the same name.
No, Dylan will be singing, Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright, and drive the galloper to the front and hope to cling on for at least a placing. Can G-One Lover win? That’s highly doubtful. If playing, the second leg of the Third Double Trio, Happy Agility looks the best banker with Spicy Sure and Chad Schofield aboard to be included to add some value into what might be a skinny Twiggy collect.
After almost a month of being banished into the wilderness for a few wild and crazy rides, we’re sure that The Chadster has been sitting cross-legged and chanting Om with extremely patient girlfriend Hannah to ensure that today will see a more chilled out and very talented young rider.
Race 1: Sight Leader (8)
Race 10: Spicy Sure (3)/Happy Agility (5/Daring Fit (8) QP
Race 4: Sunshine Universe (9)
SIX UP (1)
SIX UP (2)
Felix Coetzee and old friend Silent Witness at Living Legends in Melbourne earlier this week