It’s almost impossible to tear ourselves away these last few days from the real life mystery unraveling around the exploding clusterf*** in the White House and who did what and when.

Of course, this is tough to do as it’s history in the making and another timely example of how karma is always gonna get those who believe they’re untouchable and invincible.

Still, there’s racing in Shatin as some respite from the aforementioned mystery thriller, and with this in mind, try and watch the last win of Excellent Proposal. It’s hard not to miss the determined fist pump from Joao Moreira to emphasise how much he thinks of the galloper. And listening to the way the usually low-key John Size talks about his charge, despite wearing a mask, there’s almost a smile in his voice mixed with even a hint of excitement.

We almost keeled over listening to this man-Sized sound bite from the Clint Eastwood of Hong Kong racing who talks softly and carries a big stick.

Excellent Proposal (6) takes his place in the last race on this afternoon’s card- easily the best race of the day. Though no one except for the owner is going to get rich backing the horse to win- $1.3 overnight- there might be value in a Quartet bet.

Tianchi Master (14) is well over the odds in overnight betting- we always discard these odds however as the pools are so small- and is a definite chance despite racing up in class. If back to anywhere near his best, expect him to come charging from off the pace.

Others for the Quartet: Savvy Nine (4), Reliable Team (5), and as a real roughie- Righteous Doctrine (9) whose last run was full of stops, starts and dead ends.

Meanwhile, one waits to see when Blake Shinn might ride his first winner of the season. It just might be today on Valiant Dream (2) in Race 9- a competitive looking race over the straight 1000 metres. Horses certain to be in the thick of it are Fabulous Eight (10), Prince Of Gems (11) and Like That (13), but with a bit of luck, Shinn could salute though we’re not holding our breath.

Blake Shinn came to Hong Kong at the start of last season with many bells and whistles going off- quite rightly so as he was considered one of Australia’s best riders.

However, apart from a handful of winners in Hong Kong, the jockey has been constantly dogged with talk about being a somewhat aloof character who sends out mixed signals.

Yes, the same thing was said about Douglas Whyte, but this was when he had won almost ten Hong Kong Jockey Championships. He had nothing more to prove. Blake Shinn does. He is still very much an unproven commodity with the often wacky thinking of some of this city’s horse owners often caught up in various games of Chinese whispers.

With the odds of big name riders from the UK and Europe certain to be in Hong Kong during their winter months, not only Blake Shinn, but all jockeys at the bottom of the totem poll have a very small window of opportunity to get more numbers on the scoreboard.

Anyway, what will be will be…

Elsewhere, and back to Shatin this afternoon, horses we’ll be watching will be first starters Amazing Rocky (5) and Give Way Please (6) in the other 1000 metre sprint race where the horses to beat appear to be United We Stand (3) and Sunny Gold (8). But very often, these charges of the light brigade are a case of pot luck where anything can bob up and win without surprising.

Races 6 and 7 are races on the all-weather track which is sometimes like greyhound racing and which we give a miss. If forced into making a choice, in the first of these races we like The Hulk (6), High Rev (1) and possibly Volpino who’s harder to figure out than Keyser Soze.

Race 7 sets off alarm bells. It’s wide open if one were to drop favourite Skyey Supreme (2). Perhaps look at Chung Wah Spirit (10) and Crown Avenue (12) to form a Dennis Yip quinella.

In the meantime, play smart, play safe and…

#HKracing #excellentproposal #johnsize #joaomoreira #blakeshinn