It couldn’t have been scripted better. There were so many twists and turns and highlights. The season finale at Shatin this afternoon had it all.

There was a double for boom apprentice Jerry Chau. Indentured to Trainer Douglas Whyte just might have something to do with the evolution of a young rider who many were saying wasn’t experienced enough to mix it with the big boys in Hong Kong. But after riding a double on his first Big Day Out and then going through a bit of a lull, JC has returned a very much more improved rider with all guns blazing. Confidence and support help achieve this.

His winners for Ricky Yiu and Douglas Whyte on Super Oasis and Private Rocket, respectively showed how far the young rider has travelled in a very short time.

While Jerry Chau was out there proving that he was not playing some co-starring role in today’s horse opera, the title fight for the Trainers Premiership is what captured the interest of many.

It was a seesaw battle between Ricky Yiu who’s heading the table and Tony Cruz in third place putting his pedal to the metal. It’s obvious that he’s not happy to “be cool, man”. Instead, he’s turning up the heat and getting down to business.

At the end of the last of the eleven race card, it was 3-2 in favour of Ricky Yiu. And Joao Moreira had bookended the meeting.

Fittingly, the first race of the day went to John Moore. It might have been only a Class 5 race and with Kelmini Wins with Joao Moreira aboard winning a photo finish, it was a salute to the master trainer who’s won every Group race run in Hong Kong.

With him returning to Australia at the end of this season and to start the next chapter of his training career with brother Gary, Hong Kong racing was seeing the end of the Moore dynasty in this city.

What an amazing dynasty it’s been with everything that patriarch George and sons Gary and John have given Hong Kong racing. How much all this- and Moore- has helped create and build the most successful racing jurisdiction in the world.

There’s then the Zac Attack. Zac Purton has won Hong Kong Jockey Premierships before, but this one has been different. The rider has matured. No one can say that he’s not a worthy champion.

He’s used social media sparingly- especially the often misunderstood 140 words or less and pressing the “Like” button on Twitter.

He’s having fun on Instagram with his kids and showing life outside of the racing bubble.

Instagram is his chill out zone. Facebook is not for him. It’s the real world that matters.

As for his riding, of course there have been the winners. The difference this season is that many of these have been master classes.

Joao Moreira is not just a very good world class rider. He’s the Magic Man. But as this season has continued, that almost trademark brash confidence and the ability to pull rabbits out of his sombrero so effortlessly have looked more and more difficult to do.

With the Zac Attack not only returning serve, but constantly raising the bar could be frustrating. And as the season progressed and he was hit by suspensions, he not only lost momentum, he was coming face to face with reality.

Joao Moreira thrives on competition and confidence, but both seemed somewhat dented and dimmed this season. His nemesis was not only pumped up, he was creating his own brand of magic. He was adding to his repertoire. Constantly and with seemingly consummate ease. He was playing head games- but by winning.

Wednesday night at Happy Valley is the very last race meeting of the season. Joao Moreira won’t be there. He’ll be out serving a suspension despite riding a treble this afternoon.

Having said this, unless Tony Cruz can get his motor running and overhaul Ricky Yiu and take out the Trainers Premiership, it will be a rather tame ending to one of the strangest and most surreal Hong Kong racing seasons.

Then again, it wouldn’t be out of place with the lockdown, upside down world many of us are trying to figure out and see what the future might look like.

Some might also be wondering how much longer to stay in Hong Kong.

When one has seen the best any city can give you, there’s really no point thinking about the good old days.

It’s about looking at the new normal and new abnormal and making this work for you in new fields of dreams.

#HKracing #Shatin #RickyYiu #TonyCruz #JohnMoore #ZacPurton #JoaoMoreira #JerryChau