By Hans Ebert

When the “NO SIX UP WINNER” sign went up after the last race on Sunday at Shatin, it would be safe to say that not many were surprised nor exactly overcome with joy. It was one of those days. Mercifully, we were enjoying lunch at Repulse Bay.

It was a day of racing when one was warned to expect the unexpected. The warnings were dead correct.

Former apprentice and now freelance senior rider Alfred Chan rode a race to race double including landing a well-executed old time plunge when Land Power, the less fancied of Caspar Fownes’ two runners delivered the goods.

The winner was extremely confidently backed from $230 to $97. The winning connections were, quite giddy after the race with ho hoi sum- very very happy in Cantonese.

Meanwhile, Blake Shinn woke everyone up, including probably himself, with a bang bang bang bang by riding a four timer.

It would be an understatement to say that this winning run couldn’t have come at a better time for a jockey who remains something of an enigma.

Also a mystery is that at tonight’s races, Blake Shinn has just two rides. Of course, these engagements were confirmed before Sunday’s four timer, so it will be interesting to see what his weekend book of rides might offer.

Trainers Jimmy Ting and Michael Chang racked up doubles as did a revitalised Dennis Yip stable that’s been on life support for around four seasons.

Having the services of old friend Zac Attack doesn’t hurt. It’s more often than not, a lethal combination. At Happy Valley tonight, they combine four times.

Back to Sunday, the David Hayes juggernaut continued as if the only game in town with the expected win of first starter and favourite Lord Thunder and then having new stable acquisition Super Wealthy salute at over 20-1. Both were ridden by Shinn.

There was a double from Zac Purton including Hayes providing his 1300th winner in Hong Kong- no mean feat- on King’s Capital while there were single wins for Joao Moreira and Chad Schofield.

It was hardly what could be described as “exciting world class racing”, but after dropping in and dipping out of that simulcast on Saturday from Leopardstown and some truly weird rides from even an untouchable like Ryan Moore, one must be grateful for the crumbs thrown our way.

The results of the US Open showed a Changing Of The Guard and in the world of horse racing, the recent defeats of Stradivarius, Mother Earth and Snowball hammered this home along with the arrival of young guns like Oisin Murphy, Tom Marquand, David Egan and Hollie Doyle.

In Hong Kong, some of the jockey-trainer linkups we’re seeing could also be signalling some other very significant changes of the guard, perhaps even of biblical proportions.

As for the racing at Happy Valley tonight, it’s a decent enough card for a Wednesday night- challenging, competitive and with what could be some strong value chances.

Though looks can be deceiving the Zac Attack looks to have a terrific book of rides whereas Vincent Ho really should ride his first winner of the season. But he’s got to understand that not every horse he rides is Golden Sixty.

#hkracing #blakeshinn #davidhayes #zacpurton