By Hans Ebert

By the end of the second race, there was the feeling that this might be one of those days at the races where things might not go according to script. This was when the best bet for the day for many professionals- the $1.7 favourite Sugar- was never travelling well no matter how hard Zac Purton tried to make him chill out and settle.

Sugar going down was a bitter pill to swallow. The winner of the race was the Tony Cruz trained and Kathy Ma owned More Than Enough, given a good rails hugging ride by Neil Callan. The win inched Cruzy Man closer in his challenge for this season’s Hong Kong trainers premiership. He’s putting the pedal to the metal like only he can and while morphing into Robert DeNiro.

The first race was taken out by Joao Moreira. With a suspension to serve on Wednesday, it kept the Brazilian magic man’s diminishing hopes of overhauling the Zac Attack somewhat alive. There was still a pulse.

More importantly, the winner- Chancheng Prince- was an important winner for Francis Lui. It kept the low-key trainer with a great chance to catch Ricky Yiu, who’s still holding on to his narrow lead in the race for the trainers title.

The third race was, er, interesting. These Class 5 distance races often are as riding tactics seem to go out the window. It’s a bit of some Keystone Cops and Mr Bean moments combined with a lucky draw.

Despite having five runners in the race, Michael Chang came up empty handed. The win went to the beleaguered Peter Ho stable, courtesy of a good, patient ride from the often underrated Derek Leung on Hay Run. Derek rode a double when Shining Gem saluted in the last for…Ricky Yiu.

On the subject of much needed winners, it was good to see Blake Shinn come in from the cold with only his thirteenth winner for the season. This put him one ahead of erratic apprentice Dylan Mo. BS absolutely streaked a reasonably good field of sprinters on David Hall’s very impressive debutant in the $1.8 favourite for the race Joyful Fortune.

Hall doubled up when The Poon Train steered Eight Trigrams into the winners station with pretty much an all the way win in one of those greyhound-type all-dirt races. Just forget about the run of Little Thunder. He was not only the meat in a club sandwich. He was toast.

On the subject of toast, so were many Six Up players when hot favourite Sky Show and Joao were rolled. The Chadster- Chad Schofield- took out another of those dreaded all-dirt races by winning on Utopia Life.

The Magic Man losing on Sky Show very possibly killed off even the remotest interest in the outcome of this season’s Hong Kong Jockey Premiership.

When the Zac Attack struck in the next with an extremely easy win on Perfect Pair, one heard the Fat Lady burst into song. She no doubt went home when the knock out blow was delivered by the Moore-Purton combo who scored a facile victory with Sunny Boy.

Joao pulled one back again for John Moore on So We Joy, but, well, you know, next, Zac and Moore The Merrier returned serve with an AWESOME win with- what else- but Awe.

So far, it had been a very tired looking race meeting. Racing at Kalgoorlie on a heavy 10 track would have been more exciting though one has to say that the races at Epsom the day before with that horrible team riding was pretty dire. As for the result of the Derby Stakes, well, what can one say that hasn’t already been said?

It’s been an extremely long season for everyone, especially the jockeys. Thankfully, there are only a few more meetings before this racing season takes a break. But, unlike other summer breaks, none of us will be going anywhere.

Frankly, I feel like a cat on a hot tin roof, big Daddy.

#HKracing #ZacPurton #JoaoMoreira #JohnMoore #TonyCruz #awesome