By Hans Ebert

It’s the last of the Korean Night themes at Happy Valley tonight. And though the weather is a bit dodgy, there’ve been too many late nights and there’s NO Happy Wednesday next week, the first of three Parisienne nights go Oui Oui in mid-May.

These should be more than interesting- Happy Wednesday teaming up with the very cool fashion brand Mahka and bringing to the table fashion, lights, camera, action and music Electronica. Where this concept leads will be interesting…..

As a kinda weird segue, looking back on the FWD sponsored Champions Day- FWD being the sponsor familiar to toute le monde- if following horse racing, Hong Kong’s Beat The Clock won the Champions Sprint for the team of John Size and Joao Moreira. They hugged after the race. And why not?

The win upset most of Team Racing Australia when their highly regarded sprinter Santa Ana Lane didn’t turn out to be the certainty many thought it was. Santa came fourth. Rudolph wasn’t spotted.

Enough has already been said about this race, the rides, the barriers, the win, the loss, and Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Titch. Change the frequency.

The other certainty of the day- the gelding named Beauty Generation- obliged by winning the Champions Mile with contemptuous ease by beating those he always beats. No one new wants to take him on. What to do?

The usual gang posed for more of the same photographs while the Trackside cameras zoomed in on co-owner and serial poseur Patrick Kwok, son of Mr and Mrs SaSa- Simon and Eleanor Kwok.

The latter’s trendy bird’s nest inspired hairstyle is always the highlight of what have now become incredibly tedious presentation ceremonies that mean nothing to the minions in the peanut gallery. Thank goodness for the female cabin crew with the long legs. And Lady Eleanor’s birdie num num.

Still, these things have to be done and will never change while the rest of the world does- change.

As for this talk of Beauty Generation trying to beat the great Hong Kong champion Silent Witness’s record of the most consecutive wins- eighteen- which genius came up with this exercise in silliness and puffery?

Just go overseas, especially to compete in the Yasuda Kinen, and see how Beauty Generation measures up. But more of these exhibition gallops? Please, no. It’s become goofy. And borders on high camp.

In all the gushing and tweeting and hyperbole of the extremely good New Zealand bred Beauty Generation, there were a few other wins that flew under the radar. Like the extremely good ride of Regan Bayliss to come from the clouds and win on Champion Supreme.

One doesn’t know who was happier about the win- Regan or brother Jake Duffy or the winning jockey’s girlfriend Sheridan Paine.

Two other highlights: One was South African Grant van Nierke winning the last on Flying Thunder and beating Joao Moreira on favourite Full Of Joy in the process.

Then there was Japan’s Win Bright winning the Group One QE 11 Cup for young jockey Matsami Matsuoka and trainer Yoshihiro Hatakeyama- and at odds of 480 to 1. So much for those who listen to that dying breed known as tipsters and form analysts. Loose lips sink ships. And bright wins.

Did this win receive the credit it deserved? The publicity? The tweety birds? No. Surprised? Not at all. There was only one story for the whole meeting and the usual suspects stuck to the script.

Personally, the biggest highlight was Vincent CY Ho winning the Jockey Challenge- and riding consistently well against a very good international army of riders. Vincent Ho is not just making up the numbers. He’s riding in the form of his life.

And that was FWD Champions Day in a steamed dumpling…

Tonight sees the latest name in the Hong Kong jockey ranks make his debut- Aldo Domeyer- another rider from South Africa. So many Thumbs Up signs these days. Guess it’s better than being all thumbs.

Now, some have been a little vocal about the number of South African riders presently in Hong Kong, but let’s not forget the South African influence on Hong Kong racing going back to the days of Bartie Leisher, Felix Coetzee, Basil Marcus, Weichong Marwing, Robbie Fradd, Glyn Schofield, Anthony Delpech and, of course, joining his countrymen trainers next season, former champion jockey Douglas Whyte.

The (Durban) Demon has practically hijacked Instagram these days with updates on his always interesting current World Tour.

As for Aldo Domeyer, he has three rides tonight, all for countryman Tony Millard, and with a good winning chance aboard Arcada in the last race of the night.

The racing is made interesting by a HUGE Six Up Jackpot and, finally, the appearance of Circuit Number One, at HK$11 million, the most expensive purchase at a Hong Kong International Sale.

Why finally? After starting out with trainer John Moore, who needed more time to get to the bottom of this son of Holy Roman Emperor and have him ready for this year’s Hong Kong Derby, this never happened. The galloper kept coming last in its trials.

With the initial euphoria of purchasing what the owners thought was Pegasus, the horse was moved to the stable of Tony Cruz.

Though not much change there either, Circuit Number One makes his debut in the fourth race tonight with Matty Chadwick being given the challenge of piloting him.

Will Circuit Number One be, well, short-circuited? Who knows? But one must wonder what’s going through the minds of the owners. Possibly something like this…

#HKracing #HongKongChampionsDay #BeautyGeneration