As I have said before, I don’t care about speed maps, trackwork- unless a horse is working with three legs- handicapping- unless it’s a handicapping cert and the odds bear this out. My advice and thinking is always based on the human interest stories and the players involved- the trainers, the jockeys, sometimes, the owners and who is on and what for- like last Sunday and Surfer Boy, the horse I described as The Most Confusing – and possibly Confused- Horse In Hong Kong which was backed off the map. Did it do well?

It ran like a drunken journalist down Jaffe Road looking for Escape and took a few horses down with it. It was a strange ride by Howard “The Duck” Cheng and, personally, I think trainer Dennis Yip has lost the plot with this horse. It appears he’s more confused than the horse.

Looking at Wednesday’s meeting, there seem to be more behind-the-scenes intrigue than on Mysteria Lane and those Desperate Housewives.

For example, trainer Richard Gibson is well-known for his penchant for using French jockeys. And with all the time he has spent in France, why not, bay-bay? But what’s interesting is that apart from giving rides to Olivier Delouze and Gerard Mosse, there is one ride saved for hard-working South African jockey Greg Cheyne. Cheyne who is leaving at the end of next month to ride in Singapore, has been doing a great deal of trackwork for Gibson and has been a big help to the still-fledgling stable in Hong Kong.

A few weeks ago, Cheyne broke a very long series of outs by winning at good odds on Gibson’s Super Caga, one of many f those “Caga” horses owned by a group of racing fanatic from Hong Kong’s showbiz fraternity. On Wednesday, Cheyne rides Kung Hei Fat Choy in Race 2 for Gibson and with Chinese New Year around the corner, this could well be an omen tip and which many will back purely ‘cos of its name. I can see the horse run into the placings though I really cannot see it winning and beating the likes of Medic Fortune and Healthy Contender.

In a very interesting Race 5, Cheyne rides Forever Elation for trainer Andreas Schutz, Caspar Fownes backs up Green Zone after its great run for third last week and, surprise, Darren “Dazzler” Beadman takes over from the suspended Douglas Whyte on John Size’s Mentor. The horse disappointed its fans badly last time out and the booking of Beadman is a significant one in that what if the jockey wins on it? Will Whyte regain the ride when back? Or is this run at the Valley, a prep for it to tackle Shatin again. Questions, questions, questions- but I have some doubt as to whether Mentor is truly the class horse everyone kept telling me it is- or was- and whether it’s more a pack of Mentos. Whatever happens on Wednesday, the horse will always go off below the odds- at least for the time being.

Race 7 is intriguing to say the least with two runners entered by Caspar Fownes, two by Tony Cruz, two by John Size- and FOUR by John Moore.

Fownes has in his double pack Noble Conqueror who can ONLY win at the Valley and will love the 1800 metres it tackles.

This will also be the nine-year-old’s last start and no one would begrudge it bowing out on a winning note.

His other runner is Super Satin that’s on the way back after an injury and I would hold off on looking at this horse until one or two more runs.

But Noble Conqueror with the in-form Zac “Attack” Purton aboard who rarely rides for Fownes and is, no doubt, “deputizing” for the suspended Brett Prebble, is sure to run a very big race.

Watch for it to just sweep down the outside and probably win- again.

As for John Moore, his recent flop in Oz- Mighty High- is to be ridden by Brett “Double” Doyle who scored a, well, double last Wednesday.

Moore’s stable jockey Darren Beadman is on Jacobee while Neil Callan is on Military Move and Jeff Lloyd rides Packing Ok.

Tony Cruz, meanwhile, has the services of Gerard Mosse on Pure Champion and, surprisingly, Greg Cheyne on Super Pistachio. I think this is the first time, Cruz has used Cheyne.

What do I think? I think Noble Conqueror will go very, perhaps Pure Champion can give it some competition whereas Jacobee and Packing OK seem to be the pick of Moore’s quartet.

One thing is for sure: John Moore rarely if ever comes to a Happy Valley meeting with four horses entered in the one race.

I might take a banker or take a Quinella made up of Noble Conqueror, Jacobee, Packing OK, Pure Champion and David Hall’s Familists.

The latter could be the fly in the ointment and surprise.

My best outsiders for the day: Healthy Contender [Race 2], Let’s Goal [Race 6] and which, strangely, has Terry CW Wong riding for Tony Cruz and Familists in Race 7.

Good Luck and have a Happy Wednesday!

The Guru