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He probably thought it was going to be one of those days when his ride in race 1- Shantaraam- decided to flip out and dump him, but Olivier Delouze rose to the occasion and rode a tres magnifique double, which should not be over-shadowed by Joao Moreira’s treble nor Zac Purton’s fine double.

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Tonight at Shatin- Happy Valley re-opens on October 22 with the relaunch of those Happy Wednesday nights- we could see the likeable Frenchman become Captain Fantastic and The Brown Dirt Cowboy once again.

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Whatever the reason, Delouze takes to dirt racing like a duck takes to quacking. He grows another, er, leg when riding on the all-weather track, though, one can safely say that “Allez Allez” Ollie, being a black belt in martial arts, has all legs working extremely well.

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Tonight, he might not have any standouts, but Delouze is always a “value jockey” and all his rides can run into a placing without surprising and win chances given to Hurry Hurry Up (r3) and Wishfull Patrol (7).

As for the Jockeys Challenge, with his full book of rides, Joao Moreira will be the favourite at short odds, though I’d have a small saver on Dougie Whyte who has a decent book of rides including three for trainer Sean Woods, who, judging by how forward his horses are, looks adamant about making this season count from the get-go.

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What do I think? Wait for the weekend. It’s really a very ordinary meeting and one doubts too many will be making the trek to Shatin to watch this lot race.

Far better to watch the races from home, or go to Ho Lee Fook in Lower Elgin Street and have the Shredded Chicken Salad and plate of their dumplings.

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RACE 1

Seeing Dougie Whyte riding two pounds over on a Gary Ng-trained horse made my knees buckle. All My Benefit (9) either has a damn good chance, or it’s a deal cut so he can ride the trainer’s very expensive purchase in race 4- Longwah Amber. I’ll say it’s for the former reason, so follow it- but only for a placing as its form on this surface is nothing to write home about.

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It’s a tough race in that it’s a weak race not worth betting on where, if forced to pick a winner, it would either be Cruise Control or Fiery Patrol.

Oh, Shantaraam goes for Take two tonight with Moreira on and Delouze going onto outsider Commandant that races down a class and could upset.

CHOICES: 3-2-9-1

RACE 2

This looks like a race in two where Teets meets Magic- Karis Teetan on PJ Hall and Joao Moreira on Sledge Hammer.

CHOICES: 5-2-4-8

RACE 3

Gawd knows, but being the first leg of the Six Up, I would look at some value runners and not without chances and take on the favourites like Grand Plus.

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CHOICES: 3-7-1-2

RACE 4

Always the first to grab a good one when he sees it, Dougie Whyte has the plum ride on the expensive International Sales purchase Longwah Amber(2).

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Trainer Gary Ng struggles to find many winners and struggles even more to gain decent new horses.

In fact, Longwah Amber might be the best new horse he has ever received and, if any good, it really should win this race over 1200m.

Ng seems to have mastered the art of training sprinters. Anything over 1200m seems to be an uphill task for him.

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CHOICES: 2-3-1-5

RACE 5

Sean Woods has two entries in this race, and one can only suppose that Ho In One, which takes a class drop has Dougie Whyte aboard plus a 20 point drop in the ratings, is the stable elect, and should go close, though, like being tipped “good things” from the David Ferraris yard, I follow anything from Woodsy’s stable with great trepidation.

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This is a pretty open looking race with some horses running on the all-weather track for the first time- a track that might be on the wet side after the typhoon rain from the last two days-complicating matters.

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CHOICES: 1-4-8-10

RACE 6

The Whyte Man jumps aboard another of Woodsy’s here- Imperial Concorde- and he rarely jumps on Sean Woods- which has been working well, loves the surface and should, at least, run into the top three.

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Based on weights, and form over course and distance, I’d have Hoxo (6) with the Teet Man up, and the Richard Gibson-trained Skip Court with Matty Chadwick on who won on it at its last start carrying eight pounds less as place chances.

The Brown Dirt Cowboy on All Friends (3) cannot be left out and the winner and quinella should come from boxing up these four horses.

CHOICES: 1-8-6-3

RACE 7

Run over 1000m on the turf and not knowing how the track will play out, I’ll take a chance with Marvel Tribe (4), which claimer Dickie Lui can bounce straight to the front and hold on for dear life.

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Other chances are the interestingly named Harbour Punk (2), which is certain to be the favourite with Moreira aboard, and Winfull Patrol (6).

CHOICES: 4-2-6-3

RACE 8

With one set of M&Ms already on the board, this same combination of Moreira and Millard- has “Millie” been on a pasta and cheese diet during the off-season?- can’t be ignored here with Ambitious King- owned by the same connections as Ambitious Dragon and aimed for International Day- taking its place in this 1200m event. It will go very close to winning this.

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Though racing up a class, Apollo Cavalier appeals as an outside place chance, especially with regular rider Howard Cheng aboard, who will be going all out to get a winner after spending almost the entire season on the sidelines due to various injuries. It’s time for the Duck Man to quack it, Daffy.

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CHOICES: 1-2-9-3

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BEST BET: R4 LONGWAH AMBER (2)
NEXT BEST: R6 IMPERIAL CONCORDE (1)
VALUE BET: R5 OLE OLE (8)

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SARIKA’S SIX UP

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R3: 1-2-3-4-7
R4: 2
R5: 1-4-8-10
R6: 1
R7: 2-6
R8: 1

Total: $500 for a full Six Up ticket

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PARTING SHOT

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