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Let’s just pretend Wednesday at Happy Valley didn’t happen. The steady drizzle, then rain bucketing down, enduring the traffic crawl to get to the track, and then seeing horses drawn on the inside stuck in glue patches as horses flew down the middle of the track made the racing an affair not to remember, but forget other than a memorable treble by Zac Purton who’s at the top of his game.

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The Zac Attack, The Postman, whatever you wish to call him was singing, swinging and winning in the rain. And his legion of fans in the land Down Under were all over Twitter singing his praises.

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Funny place Twitter. It’s where much about many is exposed, and where there are no secrets. It’s interesting- and smart- and telling- that some jockeys, who, at one point were very active in the racing twitterverse, have reined in their “engagement” with those they’ve never met in their lives. Maybe they’ve got bored with the inane tweets from armchair tweeps? Maybe they have better things to do with their time? Maybe Twitter has run its race for many racing fans because of the rancid bitterness regularly tweeted out by the serial critics of jockeys and rides with their regular bouts of Gotcha thinking?

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As for Wednesday night, when you get a 94 to 1 bolter getting up- Super Form ridden by Karis Teetan, who today is riding Super Jockey for the same owners in the inaugural running of the KOR Group 1 Korean Sprint in Seoul- and Joao Moreira losing on four favourites- he also copped a suspension- someone- nah, not frenetic Happy Wednesday race caller John Blance- was trying to tell us something. Probably that we should have stayed at home, or, if at the races, to find shelter from the storm at Adrenaline, watch the races from the comfort of a table or on the balcony in between the ‘live’ music, check out the buffet and stay put until midnight by when the long march home right after the races with everyone else and their dog would have ended.

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No, it wasn’t exactly a great start to the first Happy Wednesday of the season, but what’s the answer when you’re in the lap of the weather gods? You thank your lucky stars that you’re not in Sydney betting on tiny field sizes wading through heavy 9 and heavy 10 tracks, or in Melbourne where, increasingly, race meetings start and are then quickly abandoned for safety reasons, or hang tight and wait to fight another day. Like today at Sha Tin though, again, we might be in the hands of the weatherman and not knowing which way the wind blows.

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After a great double at Rosehill yesterday, where he outrode a very good jockey in Hugh Bowman on Mackintosh and made McCreery look like a Group 1 galloper through a ride he made look all too easy, some of his critics down under still had and have a huge problem accepting and giving credit where credit is due in the case of Joao Moreira. Perhaps these knockers have an aversion to Brazilian nuts? Does the Magic Man care? What do you think? Moreira also came second to the James McDonald-ridden and quite brilliant Astern in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes aboard Omei Sword from his three rides for trainer Chris Waller. With that day’s work out of the way, Joao Moreira should have revved up his magic machine and be ready for today at Sha Tin to shake off what has been an uncharacteristically sluggish start to the Hong Kong season.

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With that “Magic Man” albatross around his neck and incredible performances in the saddle around the world, Joao Moreira is a rider many of us sometimes believes has superhuman powers. But as we all know, even magic men and escape artists have their days off and when the keys to the kingdom simply don’t work. Just ask Houdini.

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Today’s card is no stroll in the park. And meetings where there are a couple of all-weather races thrown in on a rainy day can always throw up some wobbly results. But, it’s still better than having no racing and wondering what the hell there’s to do in Hong Kong on a Sunday afternoon, especially if the weather is as gloomy as a duet featuring Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen.

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Below are again suggestions- not tips. The tips are best left to professional tipsters, surely an endangered species, and who, more often than not, can lead you astray. It’s not their fault. It’s like interviews with jockeys. When they’re not allowed to tip, what else does one expect other than pat answers about hoping to be there “when whips are cracking”.

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Tipsters are doing their best, but their best might not be good enough. And no one’s twisting anyone’s arm to follow them. Bottom line: It’s best to keep things fun and simple by being the master of your own destiny- and domain- and make your own choices. Win, lose or draw, the only person to praise or spank after the last race has been run is yourself.

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RACE 1

Could this 1000m sprint see Sammy Clipperton, below, modelling his new shoes, ride his first winner in Hong Kong on Ace King (6)?

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6-4-9-13

RACE 2
1-11-8-10

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RACE 3
11-2-5-9

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RACE 4
3-11-1-10

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RACE 5
10-8-9-5

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RACE 6

A good a time as any to post the photograph below- a ray of sunshine at this week’s Happy Wednesday night.

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5-12-8-11

RACE 7
11-8-6-1

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RACE 8
4-5-11-3

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RACE 9
5-11-6-4

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RACE 10
10-6-8-1

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BEST BET
Treble: Race 8: 4-5-11
Race 9: 5
Race 10: 6-10

NEXT BEST
Race 8: Déjà Vu (4)

LONGSHOT
Race 3: Snowhooves (13)

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SIX UP
R5: 2-3-5-7-8-9-10
R6: 5-12
R7: 1-6-11
R8: 4
R9: 5-11
R10: 1-6-10-12-13

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PARTING SHOT

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