NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 1

It was a surreal meeting at Shatin to see 2013 ride off into the sunset with three jockeys, apparently, all floored by the flu bug at the same time, three jockeys hit with suspensions for careless riding, the fatal collapse of Chok Chok in the last race, which will certainly result in another suspension, one horse being withdrawn, first-starter Mirage refusing to go into its barrier and a Michael Chang runner return with a positive swab.

When it rains, it pours.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 2

If not for three wins on the trot by Neil Callan- three very good rides- and the win of Luger despite a little on-track “gang warfare” to deprive Douglas Whyte from winning on it, it was Sunday Bloody Sunday and also a case of Never On A Sunday.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 3

It’s something that has raised red alerts amongst some trainers and jockeys about the number of meetings during the holiday season along with questions about some of the visiting licenses handed out- and why and whether some who have received these were up to the task and if their CVs were good enough.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 4

Quality not quantity is what’s needed and which always helps when looking at ways of quelling careless riding charges: The better and more experienced the jockey, the less chances of cowboys driving bumper cars- though even the most experienced jock can suffer from seasonal brain freeze.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 5

For instance, it was an open secret that Irishman Colm Donaghue was singing Release Me with more pathos than Engelbert Humperdinck so he could cut short his stay and head for greener pastures after what has been a very arid stay in Hong Kong where he put in the hard work, but with none of it paying off when it came to getting on board horses with even a remote place chance.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 6

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6S9ecXWCBCc

Now he’s been given his release from Jailhouse Rock and will soon leave the building with Elvis. And who can blame him?

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 7

Apart from riding one winner for trainer David Hall which now seems as old as Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr rolling on the beach in From Here To Eternity, O’Donoghue had been left to play with the leprechauns and the Irishman either having no rides at a few meetings or else put on horses going around to check out the scenery.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 8

Same with Italian jockey Nico Penna who arrived at the same time as O’Donoghue and Karis Teetan and has enjoyed a bit more success.

Teets, of course, has been a resounding success story- and no boob.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 9

For a fleeting moment, Penna looked like having the stable support of trainer Sean Woods- not exactly a crotch grabber of a gig, but something’s better than air being free- and where he might have been able to plod along aboard Autumn Gold. But these days, even Woodsy seems to be using Penna “sparingly.”

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Ironically, the Irishman and the Italian- this sounds like the start of a joke where they and a Greek walk into a bankrupt bar- were absent on Sunday due to illness.

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So, we’re now looking at the same scenario as last season where the shortage of riders meaning flying in re-enforcements and with the name Mirco Demuro mentioned as filling this void.

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Just please, let’s not go back to the same old Dwayne Dunn and Tim Clarke well.

That was the past and every crisis offers a more permanent solution so there’s no aimless running around like headless chicken.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 13

There must be a strategy involved in flying in one or a few jockeys with the future in mind and not the usual reactive knee-jerk actions by highly-paid racing executives whose inability to be decisive- stubborn and being daft are not being decisive, okay?- are being discussed far more openly than ever before.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 14

Yes, the natives are getting restless. So are the little people who are no longer prepared to sit and watch sheer Daffy Duck daftness by those who are, supposedly, meant to know better.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 15

As for today’s January 1 eleven-race card, it’s alright without making Austen Powers horny, baby, and Zac Purton who, as the picture below proves, has taken up learning magic tricks from Mandrake, looking to have a very strong book of rides.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 16

What sweetens the program are the number of jackpots- big million dollar jackpots for the Six Up and The Triple Trio- where I would advice you not to listen to tips- run, RUN, close your ears and RUN away from them! – and stay well clear of backing only the favorites as all of Hong Kong will be doing that. Instead, go for value.

For example, the first leg of the Triple Trio and first TWO legs of the Six Up look just TOO easy.

Sure, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, but do exactly that as, almost always, a few Trojan horses are wheeled in.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 17

Speaking of which, condoms named Trojan don’t make any sense to me.

Why Trojan? For men built like false horses? I just don’t get it.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 18

R1 SOLAR DRAGON

A tame Class 5 event to get 2014 off with a whimper and of real no interest to me though, if the Racing Club’s Young Warrior cannot do anything in Class 5, it’s not the champion some were expecting and more like a Young Worrier.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 19

With most of the runners being the usual Class 5 suspects, I’ll just stick to Dougie Whyte aboard Solar Dragon.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 20

R2 SUPERKING DRAGON

Another Class 5 event while we wait for the trains to drop off the chicken farmers and the Diiiiiiiuuuu Brigage as they make their pilgrimage to the Public stands of Shatin.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 21

R3 LOVELY BOY/THUNDER FLYER

Could be another of those Purton-Angland Pa Pa Ooh Mow Mow quinellas with only Great Pegasus and Winners Delight capable of coming between the bromance.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 22

R4 LET ME GOOD

Should be too good for this lot and with personal interest in how Backbench Blues goes for Karis Teetan.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 23

Interesting to see Tony Cruz use Nico Penna on Level Player.

R5 DISCIPLES TWELVE

Disciples Twelve has, surprisingly, left the fold of Paul O’Sullivan’s manger and is now in the hands of St Caspar of the Fowneship.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 24

I have no idea why the owners left O’Sullivan lost in the wilderness when Disciples Twelve was primed for a win- and could do just that for its new stable- which has been the recipient of the giving spirit of this festive season.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 25

As for the legs, I’d go with a few outsiders or, to keep your outlay down, take Disciples Twelve and Addole as double bankers and take 4-5 outsiders as attractive as Gwyneth Paltrow’s legs.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 26

R6 GERONIMO MEADOW/JUN JU

I really can’t see anything else in this race beating these two- and which is what makes this leg of the Six Up and Triple Trio.

Then again, Geronimo Meadow might take a few scalps so careful of this one.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 27

R7 HEY CHEERS/THANKGIVING/FLORAL MAN/DRAGON GLORY

Chris So has done a tremendous job with Hey Cheers and it can win this race, too, with Thanksgiving running the quinella.

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The fly in the ointment could be Floral Man which was blocked for a run all the way down the straight at its last start when ridden by Whyte.

Chadwick takes over here and his navigational skills might see a huge improvement with the Floral Man blossoming beyond recognition.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 29

R8 CHARLES THE GREAT/STERLING CITY

With John Moore having four runners in this nine horse field, the champion trainer should take out this Cup race with one of the above horses.

R9 DIVINE TEN

Disciples Twelve and now, Divine Ten makes this meeting almost a sermon on the mountain, and which really should win this and make it three wins in a row- unless there is some Divine Intervention.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 30

The danger could be Tango Fire with Brett Prebble riding a pound over.

R10 SMART BALL/SANTA FE GOLD/GRAND ELITE/DASHING FORTUNE

Box the four of these in your quinella and tierce bets.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 31

R11 REWARDING HERO/MAJESTIC ANTHEM/JOLLY VICTOR

Another race which trainer John Moore seems to have by the scruff of its neck.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 32

Eagle Power to place and Jolly Victor, below, one of my favorite horses, takes a class drop and can easily be the blowout runner.

NEW YEAR DAY GUIDE 33

DON’T leave it out of your trebles, six ups and Third Double Trio!

BEST BET R7- HEY CHEERS (5)
NEXT BEST R4- LET ME GO (5)
LONGSHOT- R11- JOLLY VICTOR (9)

SIX UP

R6- 1-2-10-14
R7- 5
R8- 2-3
R9- 2
R10- 6-8-10
R11- 3-9-10

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SELECTIONS FROM THE BIG APPLE (@SW064351)

THE FAST TRACK GUIDE TO SHATIN 48

BEST BET
Race 8, No. 8 All You Wish
Had excuses when caught three-wide without cover last start. Carries postage stamp weight here, strong claims.

SECOND BEST
Race 11, No. 9 Jolly Victor
Query the pace but sure to be charging home late. Consider.

LONGSHOT
Jockey Challenge, M Chadwick
Can cause a boilover with the likes of Lucky Omens, Oriental Prosper and Smart Ball.

LAY
Race 4, No. 5 Let Me Go
Progressive, but pace is against him. Doesn’t deserve to be odds-on.

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TODAY’S SELECTIONS FOR SHA TIN (FROM THE THIRD DIVIDEND)

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SHA TIN (HKG)
Sun, 1/1/14
Day Races @HKJC_Racing
Turf (“C” Course)
Weather: Fine and dry. Light winds, becoming moderate east to northeasterlies.
Source: http://www.hko.gov.hk/contente.htm

Race 1: WONG LENG CL5 HCP
1 – Solar Dragon (6)
2 – Young Warrior (1)
3 – Bolero (2)
4 – Magical Beam (4)

Race 2: YI TUNG SHAN CL5 HCP
1 – The Only Kid (4)
2 – Mobile King (1)
3 – Yuan’s Fortune (2)
4 – Starlit Warrior (12)

Race 3: MOUNT PARKER CL4 HCP
1 – Lovely Boy (2)
2 – thunder Flyer (9)
3 – Great Pegasus (11)
4 – Winner’s Delight (10)

Race 4: LANTAU PEAK CL3 HCP
1 – Let Me Go (5)
2 – Ambitious Dragon (3)
3 – Level Player (6)
4 – Lucky Omens (7)

Race 5: MOUNT PARKER CL4 HCP
1 – Addole (2)
2 – Disciples Twelve (3)
3 – Copy Star (12)
4 – China Angel (11)

Race 6: ROBINS NEST CL4 HCP
1 – Geronimo Meadow (1)
2 – Apollo Cavalier (3)
3 – Jun Ju (2)
4 – Skip Court (10)

Race 7: SUNSET PEAK CL4 HCP
1 – Hey Cheers (5)
2 – Dragon Glory (1)
3 – Thanksgiving (4)
4 – Happy Centenary (12)

Race 8 (Q1): THE CHINESE CLUB CHALLENGE
1 – Sterling City (3)
2 – Helene Spirit (1)
3 – All You Wish (8)
4 – Charles The Great (2)

Race 9 (Q2): GRASSY HILL CL3 HCP
1 – Divine Ten (2)
2 – Pure Force (10)
3 – Grimmy (5)
4 – Tango Fire (7)

Race 10 (Q3): KOWLOON PEAK CL3 HCP
1 – Santa Fe Sun (8)
2 – Smart Ball (10)
3 – Dashing Fortune (13)
4 – Harbour Master (4)

Race 11 (Q4): TAI MO SHAN CL2 HCP
1 – Rewarding Hero (10)
2 – Little Men (5)
3 – Majestic Falcon (2)
4 – Eagle Power (4)

Best Bet
Race 4: Let Me Go (5)

Next Best
Race 9: Divine Ten (2)

Value Bet
Race 10: Santa Fe Sun (8)

Long Shot
Race 7: Goldland Dancer (5)

Quaddie ($100 gets you 52%)
1.2.3.8
2.5.10
4.8.10.13
2.4.5.10

Six Up
1-2-3
5
1-3-8
2
8-10
2-4-5-10