Michael Alloy
David Newbury

The racing rumour mill is working overtime these past few weeks with many believing that John Moore’s stable jockey next season will be Hugh Bowman. Huh? And leave the ride on Winx to someone else?

Other names from the land down under mentioned as possibly making Hong Kong their temporary home? Kerrin McEvoy- possible- talented Sydney based South African rider Jean Van Overmeire, below, and Jason Collett. No Jamie Kah, who’s riding like a woman possessed, and someone to fill that marketing void left after the retirement of Hong Kong’s only female rider Kei Chiong?

Whatever will be will be, but any one who watched the Tiarrna Roberson trained WA filly Fabergino win in Belmont couldn’t have been more impressed. Sent out as $1.40 favourite, with Peter Knuckey aboard who barely moved on her, the abfab one won like a $1.05 pop. She’s a very very special galloper who will do her, trainer, owner and WA proud.

Another very special galloper who raced at the same Belmont meeting- Enticing Star- had some power players in Hong Kong wishing to make an offer for the horse the owners couldn’t refuse. Sorry, but we very much do not think they would. Bob Peters doesn’t need the money, Vito.

As for those who wait to take a Quaddie- even three percent of one- it must have been tough going yesterday with some rough results at Rosehill and Moonee Valley even if taking six horses in each four legs. Silly, but it’s done. We heard one tipster give out his Quaddie for Rosehill: 6X2X6X6- and have it go down in flames in the second leg. It happens regularly. Quite frankly, it’s better using a pin than waiting around to hear some of the rubbish thrown around with such bombastic authority and little sense of doing the maths.

After watching the simulcasts from Greyville and especially Epsom where William Buick on Masar for Godolphin won the Group 1 Epsom Derby, the jockey badgers have it in Ryan Moore who failed on $1.50 favourite Saxon Warrior. The horse never ever looked comfortable from the inside draw, and looked flat in what was a very messy race when one considers the riches and big names participating. It was one of those days. They happen.

Thankfully, we return to Sha Tin this afternoon and the ongoing battle for this season’s Hong Kong Jockey Premiership between Joao Moreira and Zac Purton. It’s an absorbing one with touches of humour.

Following a recent interview where he mentioned that he’s already lost the premiership and felt sorry for himself for picking the wrong horses which has made him lose stable support and with now a suspension looming yada yada yada, the Magic Man almost came across sounding like the Tragic Man. It was a tad too much for the Zac Attack to stomach who basically smirked in an interview that Joao Joao should just stop being a ninny and how the door swings both ways. He’s right.

Let’s not forget however that both riders have to face competition from others and owners looking for value. Any horses ridden by the Zac Attack and The Magic Man are almost always under the odds.

This battle for supremacy is no two horse race, something seen at Wednesday’s yawn fest of a dirt meeting at Sha Tin, where, apart from the Magic Man and the Zac Attack, Chad Schofield, sitting out an apprentice today, and apprentice Jack Wong, both rode excellent doubles.

Watching the Zac Joao Show might be an interesting psychological sideshow and cat fight, but with horse racing being about winning, ignoring any rider and believing in one-sided tips centring around Batman and The Joker could mean a lonely Sunday night and a morose start to the week watching reruns of the chariot race from “Ben Hur”.

So, though they could easily dominate this afternoon’s races at Sha Tin, leave out especially Karis Teetan at your peril who has a good book of rides. So do the apprentices, Douglas Whyte, who has a number of rides for John Moore, Alberto Sanna, Neil Callan, Matthew Chadwick, Brett Prebble, Olivier Doleuze, Keith Yeung, and Derek Leung who might sneak under the radar.

It’s going to be a very hot muggy day with some first starters entered on a day when one might be able to fry an egg on their backs plus some very tired horses going around- Enreaching? Again. Calculation? Again. Magic Legend? Again. If you last the distance- and the heat- may the horse be with you. Along with getting a great tan and seeing how Western Express does in the Yasuda Kinen for the team of John Size, Sam Clipperton and owner Larry Yung.


RACE 1

Viva Council (4)
Hinyuen Swiftness (6)
Leisured Feet (1)
Magic Success (9)

RACE 2

Michael Chang has three runners entered in this Class 5 race over 2000 metres and where anything can happen as it all depends on tactics and just how many of the runners have not already run their races by seemingly going around every week.

To add to the pain, a number of local riders engaged in this race are not too experienced when it comes to riding in distance races nor that strong in a finish. This often results in brain freeze, so one is really taking pot luck betting here and hoping not to end up in a pickle and looking like a dill.

At least race caller and Brett Davis has seen apprentice Victor C Wong who rides Hall Of Fame without his shirt on and guaranteed the millions who watch the HKJC produced “Racing To Win” spectacular that the lad is plenty fit. Amigo Brettoni has apparently also seen Neil Callan without HIS shirt on and has no doubt sat around the sauna with the Lally Man.

Over dinner a few weeks ago, Nick Columb, the Club’s International Racing Adviser, below, mentioned seeing Douglas Whyte without HIS shirt on and was mighty impressed. The world is in good shape.

Hall Of Fame (9)
The Joy Of Giving (8)
Proud Sky (3)
Joy Plus Fun (11)

RACE 3

Though hard to ignore Alberto Sanna on last start winner Looking Good (2), it was a bit of a lucky win as favourite Goodluck Goodluck (3) ran out during the finish when set to win. The gallopers meet again with the latter drawn a bad barrier with the interesting runner being first starter Bellagio (7) and the booking of Zac Purton for trainer Michael Freedman. The winner should come from one of these three though we couldn’t help noticing that jockey Ben TH So has a ride for David Hall.

So made his comeback on Wednesday after a very long time on the sidelines through injury. Though not exactly an in-demand rider, those who have followed horse racing in Hong Kong for some time would remember that the So-Hall partnership has resulted in some hugely successful betting plunges.

Put Ben So on a horse that’s ready and he delivers- for Hall and especially trainer Peter Ho. The SoHo combination has struck many times when least expected.

Though knowing nothing about his ride here for Hall- Jin Jin King (5) which has two unspectacular runs in Hong Kong- the combination just cannot be ignored.

Looking Good (2)
Goodluck Goodluck (3)
Destin (6)
Jin Jin King (5)

RACE 4

The first leg of the MASSIVE Triple Trio up for grabs and with the favourite Mighty Maverick (8) being one that continues to disappoint. Having Moreira aboard, however, has many thinking this could be the winner. Not us. We’re not even sure about the Zac Purton ride Seventy Seventy (3) on a win line.

By the way, carrying on from where Brett Davis left off about having seen Victor Wong without his shirt on and being impressed, The Lally Man explained to audiences that the first starter in this race named Cordyceps is a form of Himalayan Viagra. Thought that would give everyone a rise.

Super Euro Star (14)
Seventy Seventy (3)
Sunshine Holiday (10)
Cordyceps (5)

RACE 5

Apart from the logical winning chances, there should be value in including two at the bottom of the weights- Presidentparamount (13) and The Full Bloom (14). But Amazing Satchmo should go close to blowing them away.

Amazing Satchmo (3)
Strathspey (5)
Dashing Dart (8)
The Full Bloom (14)

RACE 6

A trappy race with Moreira on the Moore trained Go Beauty Go (1), one of those many “Beauty” horses- and a very rare riding booking. Usually, these horses, owned by the Kwok family- and they have many running this afternoon- are regular rides for The Zac Attack who here is on Magnetism, a rare ride himself for David Ferraris. All very confusing.

Go Beauty Go (1)
Amazing Agility (10)
Super Form (3)
Crown Avenue (11)

RACE 7

Werther makes his comeback here in the 1600 metre Lion Rock Trophy with- huh?- Douglas Whyte aboard and a race where Zac Purton has no ride. What’s going on?

The Golden Age (8)
Beauty Only (2)
Prawn Baba (6)
Werther (1)

RACE 8

Superich (12)
Saul’s Special (6)
Nice Fandango (13)
Happy Time (3)

RACE 9

Comfort Life (7)
Intrepic (9)
Roundabout (2)
Circuit Number Two (4)

RACE 10

The former Bott-Waterhouse trained Montreal owned and raced by the powerful Siu family in Australia who purchased Tulloch Lodge a few years ago, something still ignored by the racing media down under, now moved to Hong Kong and under the care of Caspar Fownes, is the interesting runner.

After easily winning his second start here over the Shatin 1000 metre straight, Fownes steps Montreal up to 1200 metres. He should be able to handle the extra distance easily, but what about going around the turn?

We never ever back Bott-Waterhouse runners except sometimes in the big races.Their runners usually lead for the theatrical Lady GaiGai and the Boy Bott before almost always finishing down the track like pricked balloons.

Here’s hoping Caspar Fownes has given Montreal with Zac Purton up again that extra internal fortitude needed as the galloper faces some serious competition from especially Mission Tycoon and Wishful Thinker.

Wishful Thinker (5)
Mission Tycoon (14)
Montreal (12)
Jumbo Luck (4)

BEST BET

Race 5
Amazing Satchmo (3)

NEXT BEST

Race 6
Go Beauty Go (1)

LONGSHOT

Race 4
Super Euro Star (14)

PARTING SHOT

#Horseracing #ZacPurton #JoaoMoreira #HKJC #KarisTeetan #EnticingStar #Fabergino