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Sometimes there’s magic, and then there are the days when-poof- the magic either disappears or simply doesn’t click. That’s life.

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At Royal Randwick yesterday, Day 2 of what’s been named “the championships”, there was no magic from Joao Moreira.

In fact, it would be fair to say that some of those in the racing media who, a week earlier had gone out of their way to jump aboard The Magic Man bandwagon, suddenly got cold feet, screeched the man love to a halt, and started hinting that hocus pocus might just be smoke and mirrors.

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Horse racing is a great leveller where, to coin some well worn-out cliches, going from hero to zero and hero to villain happen regularly and fate plays a waiting game as it did yesterday for winners in jockeys Tye Angland, Tim Clarke and Jimmy Cassidy who are usually relegated to playing second fiddle to the usual marquee value names.

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Then, there are those who wait to gleefully pull the rug from under extremely successful racing personalities for reasons just too weird to comprehend. Sour grapes? Penis envy? No life?

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Why do people build others up to only tear them down? It’s not exclusive to horse racing though the sport has always attracted too many ankle biters with too much time on their hands and talk through their chump change pockets.

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Building people and things up to bring them down is basic human behaviour where, for example, one day, anything new from Apple just has to be good whereas the next day, the brand has lost its shine.

It’s like Justin Bieber- and yesterday at Randwick, Joao Moreira was Justin Bieber- yesterday’s Magic Man because he didn’t ride a winner on a heavily biased track where if you were not out in front and on the rails, there was no chance of winning.

This is not to say that Moreira didn’t make some mistakes. He’s only human, and he did. As one of the jockeys who rode against him admitted, there was competitive riding kept him in a pocket with nowhere to go for many of his rides.

Here’s the deal: Joao Moreira is an extremely talented and charismatic jockey who never asked to be known as The Magic Man, or The Flying Nun or Kris Angel. So, he had a day off when a few other big name jockeys also came out shooting blanks. It’s not exactly a matter of life and death. It’s only horse racing.

Thankfully, the magic of Moreira as a person is still held with respect and admiration by those who admire a jockey who has given the sport a positive image boost and a much-needed leg-up.

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The star of the show at Randwick? Hughie Bowman by a country mile. The sooner the Aussie racing media starts giving The Huge One his rightful dues, the better because, believe me, this superb jockey will not be hanging around Oz for too much longer. Hong Kong and Europe beckon and the odds say he’ll leave.

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There’s no magic at Shatin today either as Joao Moreira begins a three day suspension for careless riding. It’s a day with a very tough card made even more difficult because of the rainy weather we’ve been having on and off for the past few days and forecast for today. How the track will ride, especially as the 11-race card progresses and when the turf will be cut up is anyone’s guess.

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At first glance, today looked like being The Zac Attack Benefit, and before HE starts HIS three-day suspension. It still could be, but my original optimistic look at the card has taken on a more cockeyed optimistically inclined look.

The downside to cockeyed optimism.

And so, while we wait for former Sydney race caller Mark Shean to take his seat alongside the rest of the Trackside team while former Hong Kong caller Darren Flindell comes under fire from the usual rabble of twitter trolls, we can sit back and think in-between races just what keeps horse racing stunted and fobbed off as being a mugs game.

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RACE 1

The first Griffin race of the season over 1000m might be nothing to get excited about from a punting point of view though it could well unveil some ammunition for the future- like General Of Patch and Highland Hammer.

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What’s interesting about this race is Tony Cruz using Howard Cheng on first-starter Blazing Pass. Could this be the first time- EVER- Putha Man has used the services of Howard The Duck?

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SELECTIONS: 4-5-7-3

RACE 2

It’s tough to go past Bernard’s Choice for the successful Paul O’Sullivan-Zac Purton combination though the mare will need luck in running.

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“I’d take it and Trendiful as double bankers for one of two Quartets and throw in a few outsiders for legs. Look for a few of these legs in horses you’ve never heard of before and ridden by some of the local battlers. It’s that type of race: a shocker.”

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QUARTET: (2-3)-1-5-7-9-11
VALUE QUARTET (1-11)-2-3-5-7-9

RACE 3

The first of three dirt races and one really needs to see if and how the surface might be affected by the rain. Otherwise, this race is a raffle.

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SELECTIONS: 7-1-4-10-3

RACE 4

An all-weather, all-bother race where what else can you do but follow those horses that have form on this surface? If there’s a runner from the team of Captain Fantastic and The Brown Dirt Cowboy- Olivier Doleuze and Michael Chang- bung it in. The team has a great record- especially Doleuze- in these dirt races, who rides Hello Kimberley for, not Chang, but Danny Shum. Don’t leave it out.

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SELECTIONS: (7)-10-5-3-1

RACE 5

Tuesday gave us a very simple Triple Trio collect whereas today, whoever framed the races has made things very tough with the opening leg being a 1000m scamper.

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On top of that, what might be the favourite- last start winner E-Super- is drawn barrier 2 which will require an inspired ride from Karis Teetan, who has done all the work on this Manfred Man-trained galloper, to get it onto the grandstand rails and the quickest and shortest way home. Can I have it as a banker? No, though I hope the hard-working young Teetan, who gives his best on every ride, adds another winner with E-Super to his tally.

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Giddy Giddy, a rare ride for Douglas Whyte from the John Size yard due, no doubt, to the suspension of Moreira, runs at Shatin for the first time after some ordinary runs at Happy Valley, Glory Boy, which ran a half-length second to E-Super at 100 to 1, and Sugar appeal most with all three drawn the right side of the track- barriers 14,12, and 8, respectively.

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But there are at least eight winning chances, and as past results have shown, these 1000m races almost always throws up a real roughie running into the first four.

QUARTET: (11-12)-1-3-5-7-9

RACE 6

It was lean times when Lean Journey was backed into favouritism at its last start, but injured its left hind and was eased out of the race. The horse has trialled well since and Zac Purton takes over from Brett Prebble, who, very surprisingly, has only a handful of rides today.

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Purton won’t be riding Lean Journey if the journey was going to be leading nowhere, so it must go in with a few reservations though, personally, liking the decision to have it tackle 1400m and not the sprints it has been in. It seems to need this distance to show its best.

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Take it as a banker though it might start under the odds because of the jockey booking.

QUARTET: (2-8)-1-3-5-7-10-11

RACE 7

Guess the owners want a change in luck which is why Neil Callan has replace Industrial Way, which tackles 2200m for the first time and will run another placing. It’s such a consistent place getter, it keeps going up in the weights without winning, but, for the Triple Trio, is banker material.

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Ambitious Champion (Whyte) could run a place though 2000m looks as far as it wants to go. This leaves two runners one doubts will be in the money because of the jockey bookings that are able to run out the distance and capable of winning- the disappointing Redwood Baby (Leung), which might be looking for this longer distance, and Supreme Fresh (Ho).

QUARTET: (2-10)-1-5-6-8-9

RACE 8

Why Why seems to have this Cup race at its mercy and another winner for the lethal Zac Attack who has a strong book of rides today.

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SELECTIONS: (9)-8-4-7-3

RACE 9

Rhumba King is so darn honest on the dirt that it must go in as a place and quinella chance with what should be on the win line- Hidden Value- for the Fownes-Purton combination.

SELECTIONS: 9-5-6-12-1

RACE 10

Barrier 11 might stop last start winner Super Talent repeating that success, but having Dougie Whyte on board should be the solution to that problem. With not much pace in the race, Whyte should be able to cross and have the galloper one out and running fourth or fifth before making his move coming around the turn.

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Dangers are Too Fast and Charity Kingdom with, no doubt, some outsider rolling into fourth spot and giving the Quartet some shock value.

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QUARTET (5-7)-1-6-9-11-13

RACE 11

Pikachu, the best horse in the stable of David Ferraris, and Brilliant Shine stand out and could be another Callan-Purton quinella.

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Though golfing buddies and good mates off the track, they don’t give an inch during a race and close finishes between the two make compulsive viewing.

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The booking of Ben So for the John Size-trained Szechuan Exec is an interesting one as is Eddie Lai being legged aboard Szechuan Vigour.

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Both Szechuan dishes must be included in all Quartet bets in a VERY tough race along with Celestial Smile, Apollo’s Choice, Travel Brother, and Selkirk Star, which will be ridden by new boy Damian Lane, who leaves the talking for the race track.

SELECTIONS: (3-12)-1-2-5-7-8-10

BEST BET: RACE 4 MODERN FORTUNE (7)
NEXT BEST: RACE 9: HIDDEN VALUE (9)
LONGSHOT: RACE 7: SUPREME FRESH (12)

SIX UP

R6: 2-3-5-8
R7: 2-10
R8: 4-9
R9: 9
R10: 5-7
R11: 3-12