We knew there was a reason why we passed on even trying to tip a winner and offer our opinions on the possible outcome of races: Winners were impossible to find on a night when many of the races threw up more villains than those trudging around the Beer Garden as the first of the “Bond In The Valley” themed evenings were launched.

A BLIZZARD 1

Right now, what’s interesting is to see who will be the other jockey to join Joao Moreira and represent Hong Kong in the International Jockeys Competition on December 9. Sadly, the hugely competitive Neil Callan, rumoured to be in the running as the new Irish James Bond, has been ruled out due to a suspension, and with those in the running being Zac Purton, who’s had an unusually, well, languid start to the season, Douglas Whyte, and a rampaging Brett Prebble.

A BLIZZARD 2

Moreira aside, there’s no jockey riding better than Prebble with his ride to win on Lucky Scepter last Sunday being one of sheer brilliance. On Wednesday, his winning ride on Dragon Bachelor showed a jockey with his tail up, a new wind blowing through his buttocks, and confidence personified. If Brett Prebble were a Muppet, he’d be Animal banging his own drum wildly.

A BLIZZARD 3

A BLIZZARD 4

A BLIZZARD 5

A BLIZZARD 6

Right here and now, our vote would go to Brett Prebble to fill this vacant slot as we’re extremely confident he won’t let the home side down. To paraphrase Alicia Keys, this jockey is on fire and burning up the turf more than many class four and class five horses. So, when looking at the jockeys to follow today, apart from the Magic Man, who’s making each Jockey Challenge null and void before they even start, and a bet desperately in need of a makeover whereas we’re still baffled at the efforts to convince anyone that this new three-tiered “composite” bet has even short legs, the book of rides by Purton, Whyte and Prebble need to be carefully studied.

Yes, they’ll be doing their best today, but they’ll also be riding to represent Hong Kong against the likes of Ryan Moore, James McDonald representing New Zealand- hopefully next year we can see the excellent Danielle Johnson ride for the land of the Kiwi- and Hugh Bowman for Oz, who is almost surely guaranteed a riding license anytime he wishes to ride in Hong Kong.

A BLIZZARD 7

Looking at the card with the highlight being the Panasonic Cup where, despite them racing up a class where they’d supposedly meet stronger company like the huge puzzler that is Divine Calling- the winner should be either Sun Jewellery or the constantly improving Blizzard- love this horse and have plenty of time for his regular rider Karis Teetan- Joao Moreira has another stranglehold over the Jockey Challenge and is sure to start something like a $1.50 favourite and will win like a $1.10 favourite. Please, sir, how about a Jockey Challenge Tierce or Quartet- something to bet on other than Joao and his incredible bag of tricks?

A BLIZZARD 8

European jockeys Gregory Benoist and Vincent Cheminaud make very low key debuts to Hong Kong racing whereas Zac Purton and Prebble appear to have better chances of riding a winner- if Moreira allows them. The man is truly a brilliant rider. There’s him and there’s the rest, and this total domination of Hong Kong racing- and why- will be on display for the world to watch during Longines HKIR week.

What do we think or like for today? Apart from the quinella of Sun Jewellery and Blizzard and following the rides of Karis Teetan- always great value- we’d be listening to what race favourites Amigo Paul Lally discards on the Racing To Win wild ride of fun television spectacular.

THE FAST TRACKER GOES TO SHA TIN 1

“Dilly” Lally knows his stuff, and we’ll also be taking onboard the comments of the Fast Tracker. We know he’s loathe to keep putting Moreira’s shorties up on a win line if he possibly can- a dangerous thing to do- but last Sunday, he tipped around nine of the eleven winners on the day, the races where he tipped that magic wouldn’t strike happened, and he came very close to tipping the $2 million plus Six Up Bonus- someone we know won it for $4- and which means there’s a jackpot today.

THE FAST TRACKER GETS READY FOR SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER. BUT FIRST…

t 0

Race 1
6-4-5-14

Worth tackling only as a small Quartet bet with Brett Prebble’s ride Thunderstroke (6) as a win banker and some longshots as these Class 5 races almost always throw up some wobbly results. Moreira rides Heavenisaracehorse- it is???- which will be way under the odds and might not even place.

Race 2
5-11-10-1

With six first starters in the race, who knows, but of the proven runners, I’ll side with either Prebble to take this out on Energetic Class despite its appalling barrier manners, or the John Size runner Lion Rock. Yes, he’s having his first start, but Size is a master horseman who’s taken his time getting this one to the track, and which must mean it’s ready to get on with business.

A BLIZZARD 9

Race 3
3-4-12-13

Two runners from the Dennis Yip yard and with Neil Callan on his Successful Leader, don’t be surprised to see him fight out the finish with golfing buddy Zac Purton who rides the consistent High Speed Metro. Not a race that makes me jump up and down with great expectations.

Race 4
2-13-8-9

A BLIZZARD 10

Race 5
3-12-14-6

A BLIZZARD 11

Race 6
5-14-9-3

Race 7
6-12-14-3

A BLIZZARD 12

Race 8
(5-7)-1-2-8-12

Though very confident that Blizzard will run in at least the top two, there are some doubts as to whether Sun Jewellery, having his first start this season, warrants being at such short odds. It can easily be facing an icy reception.

A BLIZZARD 13

Race 9
5-2-7-8

We could be seeing a Purton-Moreira quinella here with “The Postman” aka “Helicopter Boy” taking Chevalier Star straight to the front and building a big enough lead to ward off Moreira rattling home on Too Fast.

A BLIZZARD 14

Race 10
4-10-8

Moreira seems to be the only rider to figure out what makes Terrific Master tick just as he did at his last start. Surprisingly, he seems to have chosen Kiram over it which might have a place chance at best. Whyte gets down in weight to get back on Terrific Master, but, as great a jockey as he is, he hasn’t really clicked with this enigmatic galloper. Both Kiram and Terrific Master could start well under the odds- and could flop- and in the process resulting in a huge Quartet payout with Prebble on Laugh Out Loud (4) leading the charge.

A BLIZZARD 15

Best Bet: Race 8 Blizzard (7)
Next Best: R6 Imperial Gallantry (14)
Long shot: R10 Laugh Out Loud (4)

final-artwork

Six Up

R5: 1-3-12-14
R6: 5-14
R7: 6-11-14
R8: 5-7
R9: 2-5
R10: 2-4-7

PARTING SHOT

A BLIZZARD 17