Wednesday looked like the best chance Joao Moreira had of cutting back Zac Purton’s lead and maybe even winning the Hong Kong Jockey Premiership for the fourth successive year. Probably. Possibly. Maybe.

Though armed with what looked like a very strong book of rides and winning the first two races, that was as good as it got. The Zac Attack answered with a winner when Doctor Geoff strolled in, and the night ended with the magic man winning 2-1, and many doubt that’s enough to land the premiership. But who knows? Remember Houdini’s escape act.

With Purton four in front and five meetings left, racing returns to Shatin where, to at least our eyes, the Brazilian has at least 3-4 winning chances. The Zac Attack should take out the tenth race.

Racing, however, is a funny game. There are no certainties. Think about racing in the land Down Under yesterday where at Belmont in Western Australia, the Simon Miller trained “certainty” Special Reward went down by a nose as a $1.50 favourite. Nose, nostril hair, it doesn’t matter. It lost. One doubts that even his win in the last when here on Wednesday with his posse would have helped ease “Ricky Martin’s” pain.

Let’s just say that we wouldn’t want to have been the senior jockey who was beaten in the finish by fairly new and exciting young riding talent in apprentice Brodie Kirby who recently had some interesting things to say to those “racing fans” waiting to tweet through their pockets with no regard for grammar, the English language and, under new online laws that will soon be introduced, defamation and libel. And about time.

Back to the uncertainties of horse racing, think about the extremely poor showing of favourite Sayed in the Winter Cup. What happened there?

Then think of the quite incredible winning streak of Sydney based jockey Jay Ford in the last couple of weeks. He must be on Paul Lally produced Cordyceps.

As for Shatin this afternoon, it’s quite an uninspiring card with probably everyone, including the horses, getting ready to board that plane and head off for a damn good summer break. It’s been a long hot summer. Seeing that the odds of him winning the Horse Of The Year award are on the slim side, Pakistan Star is probably already chilling out in the Maldives. No red carpet events for him anyway. He’ll leave that stuff to the Beauty Generation. And

Looking through the card, one really hopes Chater Thunder (2) in the fifth wins and gives lawyer Kevin Egan, below, a key member of owners the HK Cricket Club Syndicate who we lost a few weeks ago, and a great friend of many in racing, a fitting farewell.

Elsewhere, taking away the rides of Zac Purton and Joao Moreira, there are possible winners waiting for a red hot Douglas Whyte- anyone else notice the relentless backing on his excellent winning ride aboard Oriental Elite on Wednesday?- The Poon Train, and Umberto Rispoli whereas one can never ever leave out those shockmeisters Alberto Sanna, below, and Karis Teetan.

Even Tommy Berry, the invisible man of Hong Kong racing with a less than impressive strike rate and 37 rides since his last winner, might be able to boot home a winner- perhaps for the equally downbeat stable of Michael Freedman.

This has been a disappointing stint in Hong Kong for the very likeable rider with less winners on the board-16, one less than Alberto Sanna who’s only been in town on a short-term contract. Here’s hoping he gets back to his winning ways back home in Sydney.

Below, with absolutely no confidence as a persistent drizzle might undo the best laid plans, here are the team’s suggestions…


RACE 1

Top Ace (1)
Unique Joyous (8)
Wonderful Tiger (3)
Rising Power (13)

RACE 2

Gentle Breeze (3)
Bumble Baby (8)
Goiko (2)
Fame And Fortune (6)

RACE 3

Namjong Plus (8)
Sangria (5)
Good Days (9)
Good Omen (3)

RACE 4

Honest Way (2)
Victory Power (5)
Sunshine Holiday (10)
Gracious Ryder (8)

RACE 5

Chater Thunder (2)
Gouten Of Gato (6)
House Of Luck (4)
Elusive State (11)

RACE 6

Picken (6)
Viva Council (7)
Royal Mojito (1)
Fresh Power (8)

RACE 7

Mission Tycoon (9)
Raging Storm (11)
Star Shine (10)
Seven Heavens (5)

RACE 8

Cruising (1)
Little Bird (13)
Mr Wealth (4)
Packing Miracle (9)

RACE 9

Remarkable (11)
Royal Performer (2)
Nuclear Power (9)
Imperial Concorde (14)

RACE 10
Comfort Life (5)
Baba Mama (3)
Invincible Fresh (11)
Diamond King (6)

BEST BET

Race 8
Quinella: Cruising (1) and Little Bird (13)

NEXT BEST

Race 10
Comfort Life (5)

LONGSHOT

Race 7
Star Shine (10)

PARTING SHOT

#HKracing #ZacPurton #JoaoMoreira #DouglasWhyte #TommyBerry #horseracing