By Hans Ebert

Nothing went according to script. Like saying that the dog ate your homework, the jockey they call “The Refrigerator”- Frenchman Antoine Hamelin- came in from the cold of a long losing streak, froze out everyone else, stormed Le Bastille and picked off the winners at Shatin as easily as un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq. And the dish ran away with the baguette…

Not only was it the Frenchman’s first hi-five timer in Hong Kong- or anywhere else- along the way, it was also the first treble he’s ridden here.

When the race card for today’s races first came out, the possible winners seemed to jump off the pages and bite you. Easy, said most. Not so, said the strong easterly wind that might have had some say in the results. The chances of winning thwarted by wind problems? It happens…

Somewhere along the way, there weren’t just script changes, there were complete rewrites. Red hot favourites bit the dust. There was no Zac And Joao Show. The Zac Attack was blunted and battered and bruised on three of the hottest “sure things” of the day.

Blake Shinn won on a 73-1 pop.Name? No idea.

Students and professors of form were sent packing for night classes.

One really can’t explain why things happened the way they did. They just did. Though one expects some to put forward reasons for everything that upset the entire apple cart, that’s just racing.

Today at Shatin might have been merde for some, however, the day belonged to Antoine Hamelin. He made the most of everything that came his way- and didn’t let go.

By so doing, plus Alexis Badel staying on next year for the full season, Hong Kong’s riding ranks that had become a somewhat predictable two-horse race have suddenly become a far more interesting bouillabaisse of international riding talent.

It will be even more interesting when it comes down to the wire and one sees who in horse racing here will be part of the next racing season.

Even more interesting might be seeing how this subject might not be exclusive to jockeys.

#AntoineHamelin #hkracing #change