By Hans Ebert
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Now this is more like it- a ten race meeting at Shatin where some of Hong Kong’s better gallopers are stepping out for the first time this season. Plus a splattering of relative newcomers who might have that ammunition for the future. Did someone mention Tianchi Monster? Bigwood? Cruising? Blue Steel?

Though much has been made out of the Group 3 Celebration Cup and the re-appearance of last season’s Horse Of The Year Beauty Generation, this is looking more like “click bit”. It’s an extremely interesting race with a number of runners from last season who might be back with a bigger bang this time around.

Of particular interest are the two John Size runners- Ping Hai Star and Nothingilikemore from whom so much was expected until bad luck struck.

The last race offers some real depth and a surprise wouldn’t surprise.

This and some of the earlier races might answer the question that Hong Kong racing needs more than one Pakistan Star. John Size might have some of the answers. Perhaps also our good friend Caspar Fownes. And of course the mysterious Putha Man who can be usually found in the paddock area communicating with aliens and more enlightened beings through the Bluetooth in his ear.

As for enigmatic one- Pakistan Star and not his trainer- who knows what mood our favourite horse might be in when he makes his seasonal debut? Pakistan Star marches to the beat of his own tablas. And has a mind of his own. The person on top of him better understand this. And put that silly “persuader” away.

There’s was some truly terrific racing this weekend at Randwick, especially, and Caulfield. The combination of quality gallopers, inspiring rides, and surprises a-go-go has put more holes into the trading floor of the slot-driven gimmick race supposedly “created” by the Doñaldo Trump of Australian horse racing. Please.

Hype and gimmicks are for carnivals and sideshows. True world class horse racing needs world class talent on ALL aspects of the business stepping up to the plate and delivering without the tail wagging Bonzo.

That’s just irrelevant stuff to bamboozle the easily bamboozled. It’s close circuit elitism trying to pass itself off as something for everyone when we all should know who these someones really are. Did someone just yell out, “PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN”?

Especially on Saturday at Randwick, what took centre stage was not another Sideshow Bob. It were the close finishes and the main attractions. The wins of Oohood. Santa Ana Lane. Hartnell.

There was the winning ride on Mickey Blue Eyes by young Regan Bayliss. The experience of Hugh Bowman. The incredible consistency of Timmy Clark, who, at least to us, is the most consistently good jockey riding in Australia right now.

Yesterday at Caulfield saw the continuing comeback of a refreshed and determined Chris Caserta. His winning ride on Eclair Calling got the chocolates. And more. This kid’s time has finally arrived.

Back in Hong Kong, yes, Zac Purton is a world class rider at the top of his game. But ignore the talents of Derek Leung and Matthew Chadwick at your peril. The term “local jockey” deserves a new found sense of respect.

Derek Leung, especially, is riding as well as anyone here. And this includes the Zac Attack. Let’s also remember that it was this Hong Kong born rider who first rode Beauty Generation to three successive wins on the galloper including taking out last year’s Group 1 Hong Kong Mile. Derek Leung is not chopped liver. Nor is he char siu.

Horse racing meanwhile desperately needs to stop the corporate navel gazing. The often nauseating political dribble. The conga line of losers who can’t get gigs anywhere else and allowed to bluff their way through the executive floors. The subservient Yes People.

It’s gotta be more than more pyrotechnics. That fizzled out years ago with Katy Perry. So did bringing up more of the same old same old for the same old same old by the same old same old. Creating more flatulence. We see right through you.

Time and patience is running out for many waiting to see what horse racing becomes and who will be attracted enough to it to come along for the ride. No more losers, please.

Hopefully horse racing won’t become its own worst enemy. But let’s not hold our collective breaths. Stupid is as stupid does.

If horse racing refuses to move on, so be it. Some of us might have already started our move to Sri Lanka to finish The Small Big Book Of Horse Racing and start our own cult down the beaches of Galle with Lithuanian nymphets feeding us fresh coconuts.

As for Shatin today, below are just some suggestions. We’re hardly tipsters. We’re lifers.

RACE 1

Strathallan (3)
Bumble Baby (9)
Lunar Zephyr (7)
Romantic Chef (6)

RACE 2

Full Of Chances (8)
Golden Kid (9)
Enjoyable Success (10)
Red Élysées (3)

RACE 3

Complacency (6)
Super Eighteen (2)
Cordyceps (3)
Very Sweet Orange (10)

RACE 4

Supreme Witness (13)
City Legend (4)
Flying Quest (2)
Shining On (12)

RACE 5

Tianji Monster (9)
Aerohappiness (14)
Rule Thee (8)
Green Energy (6)

RACE 6

Bigwood (10)
Flash Famous (12)
Land Grant (4)
Patriot Hero (7)

RACE 7

IVictory (1)
Hot King Prawn (3)
Hot King Prawn (3)
IVictory (1)

RACE 8

It’s the Group 3 Celebration Cup over 1400m with ALL the talk being about last season’s Horse Of The Year Beauty Generation. Often, there’s way too much talk. The blah blahs allow others to quietly slip under the radar. And at good odds. Perhaps the blah blahs should continue?

Of course, it won’t surprise to see the John Moore trained galloper win- despite carrying top weight, and despite drawn barrier 11. But it’s racing down a class. And has Zac Purton aboard. Will Beauty Generation offer any value? Probably only around 4’s despite there being some very good gallopers in the race- Seasons Bloom, Beauty Only, Fifty Fifty, Southern Legend, Ping Hai Star, California Whip, and the return of the once very promising Nothingilikemore.

Thewizardofoz is in the same race at a rating of 124. Only two points less than Beauty Generation? Seriously? Mind blowing stuff.

Then again, as Amigo Paul remarked at the start of the HKJC piece de resistance and tipping show extraordinaire that is Racing To Win, “We’ll just let the horses do the talking.”

Better if they run and race. But who are we to argue? We just want to win. And not only by backing horses. Backing the more positive aspects of life might be a more unique idea.

Ping Hai Star (8)
Nothingilikemore (11)
Fifty Fifty (5)
Born In China (9)

RACE 9

Taking Aim (7)
Raging Blitzkrieg (4)
Attention (1)
Superich (5)

RACE 10

Little Giant (4)
Wishful Thinker (3)
Cruising (12)
Raging Storm (10)

BEST BET
Race 5
Tianchi Monster (9)

NEXT BEST
Race 8
Ping Hai Star (8)

LONGSHOT
Race 3
Super Eighteen (2)

PARTING SHOT

#HKRacing #HKJC #TimClark #ChrisCaserta #TyeAngland #HughBowman #horseracing