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SWING WHEN YOU’RE WINNING

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After a disappointing first start ninth, owner Norman Cheng was thinking of retiring Sing Sing Sing with battling jockey Neil Paine under the gun and the blame game fingers pointed his way.

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Painey had purchased the son of Snippetson after one trial at Mudgee for former music executive Cheng, a long-time friend for whom he had successfully ridden in Macau on many occasions.

When Sing Sing Sing stepped out at 28s last Wednesday- and looking at the other runners, some of us who had lost our hard-earned on its first start, plonked a few grand on it, bankered it in a successful Quartet bet and won the first Double.

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The big winners, however, were Cheng and Paine when Brett Prebble- tipped by The Fast Tracker to win the Jockey Challenge and who spent a rather lengthy amount of space commenting on the horse- and backed it- threw everything at Sing Sing Sing for a gutsy win win win.

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With $350,000 in prize money for the owner, and even if he had only led with tierces, quinellas and doubles, Norman Cheng would have pocketed around a cool $1 million.

When he came up to see us after the race, he was a happy man- very happy. Also happy is Neil Paine who is being flown to Hong Kong for a week-long celebration party. It promises to get ugly especially as “Knackers” is certain to launch into his well-known karaoke scud missile-Boney Maroney.

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WHAT’S IN A NAME?

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After finishing her dinner, chatting with friends and listening to Jennifer Palor and friends perform at Adrenaline, a casual racegoer, and one of the most stylish ladies we know decided to dabble in a game of chance.

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Her strategy: Ignore all tips and tipsters and back two horses with names that “said” Happy Lunar New Year to her. And so, with her budget of $2,000, she backed Golden Prosper in race 8. It romped in at 29 to 1.

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With now over $50k in the black, she took another $2,000 and backed the only horse with the name that “spoke” to her and said, Kung Hei Fat Choy. Yes, Fat Choy Hong Kong romped in at 50 to 1.

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There’s a moral to this story somewhere. We just don’t know what it is.

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THE PRICE WAS HALF RIGHT…

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Don’t be surprised if Friday’s Bendigo winner Dot al thing and makes its way to Hong Kong.

Under the winning combination of trainer Robert Smerdon and Price Bloodstock managed by Jenny Chapman, to quote our fave race caller Ric Macintosh- ah, to have him as the replacement for departing Amigo Darren Flindell- Dotherightthing with Jack Hill aboard, “stacked them and snucked them”, led all the way and looks to have quite a bit of upside, something which Johnny Size can work the usual oracle.

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Alas, the next day, the red hot favourite for the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield- Foniton- also trained by Robert Smerdon and with our Jenny From The Paddock being one of the owners- like another raging favourite earlier in day in the China Horse Club’s colt Dissident- went down in flames.

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These two “certainties” didn’t even run in the top four with the very impressive Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Prince Of Dubai taking out the Blue Diamond Stakes. What a boost it would be to have this father and son team who always handle themselves with such class join Hong Kong’s training ranks.

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You never know. Yes, in Hong Kong’s racing world, now you see them, now you don’t, and, hello, where did they come from?

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THE FAST TRACKER TRIES TO FORGET A WEIRD HAPPY WEDNESDAY

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Who would have guessed that apprentices Dickie Lui and Alvin Ng would bookend the mid-week Happy Wednesday meeting? Not even Alvin Ng who deputised later in the evening for an indisposed Ben So and won on 50 to 1 bolter Fat Choy Hong Kong.

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It was a weird end to the celebrations welcoming in The Year Of The Ram where lucky laisee packets were given out to jockeys desperately in need of a winner- Ng, Lui and also Nash Rawiller and Howard Cheng- whereas none of the Three Musketeers even crossed swords.

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The closest Joao Moreira, Zac Purton and Douglas Whyte came to riding a winner was a placing by the Magic Man while outsiders ridden by jockeys some of us had almost forgotten about saluted. And what an amazing salute from Keith Yeung as he won on Telephatia, below. Who even knew there was a horse in Hong Kong with this name? One almost expected Jacky Tong to ride a winner on Wednesday.

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Tips from trainers? Confetti. Tips from The Three Amigos? They’d been singing Blazing Saddles songs while eating beans around the campfire again. They didn’t fire the way they usually do.

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Tips from tipsters? Way off the mark- as usual, despite the nauseating back-slapping that occurs for tipping odds-on favourites which reach laughable and pathetic self-congratulatory levels in Australia from the hordes of “tipping services”.

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At least on Happy Wednesday night at Happy Valley, I expected Brett Prebble to win the Jockey Challenge- though not on the horses he won on. Friends had to almost forcibly persuade me into backing Sing Sing Sing as there are less than six degrees of separation between myself and the “compactly built” galloper, which one can’t see racing in Hong Kong much longer- despite the win.

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Dougie Whyte will be around the money, and it will be interesting to see the clash in race ten between the Pan Sutong-owned Obliterator and the John Size-trained Contentment.

Earlier this week, whatever was left of the John Size-Whyte partnership went BANG when the jockey gave the flick to Luger and chose to stay with Master Sutong’s Giant Treasure as his ride in the Hong Kong Derby.

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Trappy races on today’s card: Races 1, 3, where Bear Pop will be under the odds and beatable, a confusing race 8, and race 10 with Contentment looking very likely to wipe the smiles off its backers.

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Betting races: Races 4,5, 6 and, for value in the Quartet, race 10.

May the horse be with you.

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Race 1

QUARTET SELECTIONS:(1)-4-5-7-10-12-14

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Race 2

(9)- 2-4-7-10-11

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Race 3

QUARTET SELECTIONS (13)-6-7-9-12-14

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Race 4

(4)-13-9-5-8

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Race 5

(4-9)- 7-2-3-1

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Race 6

(12)- 3-5-10-11-13

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Race 7

1-2-6-3

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Race 8

QUARTET SELECTIONS: (3)-1-5-8-9-10-13

Race 9

4-1-10-14

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Race 10

QUARTET SELECTIONS: (7)-6-8-9-11-13

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BEST BET: RACE 6 BOSSLEE (12)
NEXT BEST: RACE 4 FOREVER ACCURATE (4)
LONGSHOT: RACE 10 ASHKIYR (7)

SIX UP

R5: 4-9
R6: 12
R7: 1-2-3-6
R8: 1-3-8-9-10
R9: 1-4-7
R10: 7-9

PARTING SHOT

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