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Sunday at Shatin proved that even without the presence of The Magic Man Joao Moreira, magic still can happen. And what a magical day it was!

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Other than the record turnover of HK$1.34 billion, an increase of over $200 million from the same meeting last year, there was a brilliant quartet of winners from Zac Purton along with the now well-documented victories by newcomer Jing Jing Win trained by David Hall, and the Tony Cruz-trained Pakistan Star.

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When the popular- and powerful- Chinese newspaper Apple Daily makes the win of Pakistan Star its lead story on its front page, and relegates a piece on Hong Kong’s Chief Executive into the also-ran bin, one just knows that Hong Kong racing has found itself a new equine hero that has captured the hearts and imaginations of racing and non-racing fans in Hong Kong and overseas. We even received the following poem earlier this week from local racing fan Sunjay Chugani:

Hong Kong’s gotta new hero, a champ in the making,
He’s a real treat to watch, a natural heir to be our king.
A steed by Shamardal, following the footsteps of our champ Able Friend,
Missing the kick giving several lengths to his rivals until the home bend.
Watch out boys & hear the hooves of thunder, the roar of the grandstand,
Pakistan Star swoops the field in the blink of an eye, with plenty in hand.
He’s proven himself yet again to be the real deal,
Jockey Matthew Chadwick says he gives him a great feel.
On to the Derby, the International & G1 races
He’s the spirit of Hong Kong that’s going places.

Yesterday, Pakistan Star was making headline news in another hugely popular Chinese daily- Apple Daily.

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What’s created this phenomenon? Apart from the devastating win at his debut last season where he stormed home down the outside from last to first for jockey Matthew Chadwick, it’s his running style. Pakistan Star is almost arrogant and definitely a show off. He knows he’s good and he seems to wants to show just how ordinary his competition is. He’s an entertainer and the crowds love it. And it’s great for horse racing. Australia has Chautauqua and the mighty Winx, and now Hong Kong has Pakistan Star with Jing Jing Win- and Rapper Dragon- waiting in the wings.

When he missed the start on Sunday, nearly all of Shatin were audibly aghast. And when he trailed the field by two lengths, even those experienced local racing uncles must have choked on their fried chicken wings and lost hope in this $1.40 favourite even running a place. But as cool as Vanilla Ice and Mr Freeze combined, Matty Chadwick, took him out wide and, in a twinkling of an eye, it was all over. Watch.

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It’s been a long battle for Matty Chadwick to shake off the injuries that plagued him last season. But he’s already shown this season that he’s returned with a vengeance and a determination to get back where he belongs- amongst the top five riders in town.

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Being the regular partner of Pakistan Star has been a great confidence builder and career boost for the rider, who was once tipped to be the next Tony Cruz. Just as he carved a formidable partnership with another Cruz star in the brilliant California Memory, this could be the start of a beautiful new Pakistani friendship. From California to Pakistan and Hong Kong. Why not?

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For trainer Tony Cruz, Hong Kong racing’s favourite son, surely he must be thinking that he just might have another Silent Witness in his stable. It’s early days and a very long way to go to being another superhorse like Silent Witness, but one can still dream.

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As for today’s races, being on the C Course and on a track expected to be on the good to yielding side, the professional tipsters will tell you to go with those horses drawn well and can be on the pace. Maybe. The key- win, lose or draw- is to have a Happy Wednesday.

Meanwhile, just for a change of pace, the suggestions for races tonight come from a Happy Wednesday regular, and novice racing fan who’s had an incredible strike rate on the punt going back to last season. No, not her. But, again, one can dream.

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How has she built up this strike rate? She listens to no one, doesn’t follow tipsters, but follows her favourite jockeys- apart from Joao Moreira- Zac Purton, Karis Teetan, Derek Leung and Nash Rawiller- and always only watches how the horses run in the first two races without betting, and then attacks the Six Up and Treble with great relish, confidence and, usually, success.

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Meanwhile, let’s send out our support to the all the victims of #Brangelina. Be strong, homies.

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RACE 1
9-1-3-6

RACE 2
9-1-12-3

https://twitter.com/masonrudd1993/status/778315223811907585?refsrc=email&s=11

RACE 3
3-2-4-11

https://twitter.com/vanifoxofficial/status/778327265751011382?refsrc=email&s=11

RACE 4
9-12-10-1

RACE 5
8-5-11-3

RACE 6
4-2-9-12

https://twitter.com/girlposts/status/778304259293143041?refsrc=email&s=11

RACE 7
3-2-8-12

RACE 8
12-11-6-8

BEST BET
Race 3: Victory Marvel (3)

NEXT BEST
Race 8: Super Fluke (12)

LONGSHOT
Race 7: Courageous Brother (8)

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SIX UP

R3: 3
R4: 9-10-12
R5: 5-8
R6: 2-4-9
R7: 2-3-8
R8: 12

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PARTING SHOT

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