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It’s been said here before and it will be said over and over again: Derek Leung is the best of the local riders. But even Caspar Fownes was unprepared to see him win on Twin Delight last Sunday and Sha Tin. And Cas, who enjoys a little flutter, “only” trains the horse, which got home at over- inhale- 250 to 1- now exhale- and beat its well-backed stablemate I’m In Charge into third place in the process, couldn’t have it. Who could? And which is why there’s another Six Up Bonus jackpot available today.

FTer 17Sep 1

Derek Leung is almost a late bloomer- an apprentice who showed good potential, but with this potential only being fully realised in the last few seasons. While we’re seeing a much stronger rider this season in apprentice Jack Wong, a more hungry, determined and fit Matthew Chadwick, and still waiting to see if and when Kei Chiong hits her straps like she did last season, Leung continues to deliver in a low key manner riding almost a winner a meeting. It’s a bit like how Douglas Whyte gets on with business these days by flying under the radar, but with that fierce determination we know all about.

FTer 17Sep 2

And though we’re barely into this new season, we’ve seen some vintage performances in the saddle by Whyte- confident, winning rides oozing class and with everything kept on the down low. There’s none of that whooping it up and posing for the cameras. It’s nothing personal, it’s all business and what we’re seeing is a more invigorated Douglas Whyte after his annus horribilis last season where very little seemed to go right.

FTer 17Sep 3

Of course, Douglas Whyte has seen it all and pretty much done it all. Whatever he has to prove is only for himself to decide. Probably the patience to sit down and actually listen to a Bob Dylan album in its entirety. But that’s wishful thinking.

FTer 17Sep 4

Again, though very much early days, we’re seeing a more level playing field when it comes to the results. There’s not been the total dominance of Joao Moreira. Yet. But like any impending storm, we know that the Magic will return whenever all the pieces fit and he decides to click his heels like Dorothy in “The Wizard Of Oz” and take him to dizzy new heights.

FTer 17Sep 5

While sitting out a two-day suspension starting today by probably putting his feet up after Friday’s HKJC sponsored charity football match- the Brazilian magician’s idea and where he and a number of other jockeys gave up their time for a good cause and provided great entertainment for fans and friends- it gives this playing field more time for there to be even more levelling out.

FTer 17Sep 6

FTer 17Sep 7

Looking at the current riding ranks which will boosted by the arrival of another Brazilian in the extremely exciting and popular Silvestre de Sousa in late October for a three month stint, new boy Sam Clipperton got off the mark last weekend with a double including one very hard-fought win against Moreira. Young Clipperton rides very well and could see his three month contract renewed.

Nash Rawiller, who scored a beauty of a goal on Friday, and the speedy Karis “The Mauritian Usain Bolt” Teetan, below, have got off to good starts, and Chad Schofield, aka “Channah”, returns after sitting out a long suspension, and won’t be long getting amongst the winners.

FTer 17Sep 8

Apart from those who’ve hit the ground running, one cannot, of course, forget the Batman and Joker of Hong Kong racing- Zac Purton, who’s riding better than ever, and the ever-consistent and always competitive Neil Callan. And yes, as seen below, their bromance continues. Even on the football pitch.

FTer 17Sep 9

“I bow to your greatness, my liege”.

Of course, the highlight of today’s meeting will be to see if Pakistan Star can replicate its stunning last to first win at his debut last season.

The galloper will be at very prohibitive odds and many we know won’t hear of him being beaten. But a few others point out that if there’s not a strong pace in the race, Pakistan Star might have his work cut out. Couple this with regular jockey Matthew Chadwick sending out all kinds of warning signals to punters, and it’s enough to go back and see who might be able to beat him other than sheer bad luck, or Secondupitis. There’s really nothing else in the field that looks headed for greater things.

FTer 17Sep 10

With a big Six Up Bonus jackpot up for grabs, all it would take for this not go off again would be coming to the last leg and seeing Pakistan Star bite the dust. And if the galloper wins, the Six Up will pay chump change. So, the advice would be to take two six ups, and leave out the favourite in your selections. As The Donald recently asked Black voters, “What have you got to lose?”

FTer 17Sep 11

Elsewhere, it’s a tough card with overnight odds bound to lead many astray. Other than Green Card almost certain to take out race six and Jing Jing Win jing jing winning the second, the races are extremely open. Well, that’s probably put the mock on Green Card, the extremely unlucky John Moore-trained galloper, which will be ridden by Douglas Whyte for the first time.

FTer 17Sep 12

Whyte replaces Joao Moreira, and it will be interesting to see who has replaced the Magic Man on what he might have been riding. Then again, by taking his suspension immediately, perhaps he didn’t have that good a book of rides? What do we suggest? Closing your eyes and seeing where that magic pin lands.

FTer 17Sep 13

Below are suggestions with absolutely no confidence. That’s best left to the professionals, though even their stats so far this season would hardly put you on the winning side of the ledger.

RACE 1
(4)-2,5,7,8

FTer 17Sep 14

RACE 2
4-8-2-1

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RACE 3
2-4-1-7

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RACE 4
5-2-3-11

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RACE 5
1-12-4-6

FTer 17Sep 18

RACE 6
2-10-7-4

FTer 17Sep 19

RACE 7
10-14-13-7

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RACE 8
10-6-8-14

RACE 9
1-7-14-3

FTer 17Sep 21

RACE 10
9-4-3-11

FTer 17Sep 22

BEST BET
Race 8: Molly’s Jade Star (10)

NEXT BET
Race 9: Bad Boy (1)

LONGSHOT
Race 1: This Is Gladiator (7)

FTer 17Sep 23

SIX UP

R5-1-2-3-4-5-6-10-12
R6: 2
R7: 8-10-13-14
R8: 10
R9: 1-7-14
R10: 3-4-9


FROM THE RACING TWITTERVERSE


PARTING SHOT

FTer 17Sep 24