By Hans Ebert
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There are two very big jackpots up for grabs at Sha Tin today, one in the Six Up and around HK$46-50 million in the Triple Trio. The problem is that at least according to the odds and the various teams of tipsters who talk to the animals, there are so many short priced favourites in the races that make up these exotic bets that if they were to be in the top three in the Triple Trio races, the payout will pay tuppence. Or a farthing.

For example, according to the overnight odds, Eighty Eighty (1) must be amongst the placings in race four, the first leg of the Triple Trio with bankers for the next two races also being two short priced favourites- Lucky Time (2) and Raging Storm (4).

In the Six Up races, apart from Lucky Time and Raging Storm, there are two other very short priced favourites- Tai Smart (8) in race 8 and a $1.50 hotpot in the last race- Turin Redstar who was a certainty beaten at his last start.

If these four favourites were to win their respective races and even if there were upsets in the day’s two major races, the payout still wouldn’t pay for a dim sum lunch at 1 Harbour Road at the Grand Hyatt. Talk about a mouthful.

If there’s to be a fairly large Quartet payout, it would probably be in the second race where the horses going around are on the slow side and it’s really anyone’s guess which four might hobble past the winning post fastest.

The most interesting race at one of those rare Saturday meetings which usually turn out to be pretty drab affairs and make Sunday one of those days with nothing much to do other than stare at the ceiling and try to understand the meaning of life, is race seven.

This is the Snipe Handicap- not named after actor Wesley Snipes nor all the sniping one hears around the new Hong Kong these days- where there are ten runners with three of these having been entered for the Hong Kong Derby on March 18. Maybe it should have been called the Wesley Snipes Handicap just to liven things up a bit…

Are any of these ten runners good enough to get in to the Derby? Not really. Good Omen definitely has the potential, but needs far more time as this would be only his second start in Hong Kong whereas the John Moore pair- Rivet and Ruthven- who sound like the two old hecklers on The Muppets Show, are hardly exciting prospects.

Rivet, with Sam Clipperton deputising for the suspended Tommy Berry, is the current race favourite and, to many, the winner. As Doris Day might have once sung, Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

Personally, this hasn’t been a stellar season for the Moore stable, and both horses can go around without my hard earned money. If Rivet wins, fine, purely because Sam Clipperton is a very good young rider who’s not had many opportunities to show his talent.

The horse that’s really interesting is the Tony Millard trained Last Kingdom (6), which has shown vast improvement on the track with the very much overlooked Beverley Millard doing much of the track work. Mrs Millard, below, has always been the secret weapon in the stable’s success and surely deserves far more recognition than she’s received.

Perhaps as he did with Douglas Whyte, Andrew Le Jeune might be coaxed into interviewing her on one of those HKJC produced shows one stumbles upon while surfing through the club’s website?

Le Jeune, who with highly excitable race caller John “And awaaaaay we go” Blance, took some of us back to French lessons in secondary school during Wednesday night’s Trackside broadcast with a penchant for coming up with more than a soupçon of mots de Francais, had a wonderful tete-a-tete with the great South African rider in what looked like either his closet or else either the back room of Shanghai Tang or Le Moulin Rouge.

It’s well worth watching if able to stumble upon the interview with apparently a gripping Parts Deux to follow next week.

As for the races today, at least what I’ll be doing is taking two Six Ups, one with all the favourites and another where the favourites in races 5,7,8 and 9 somehow manage to lose their way and some outsiders photobomb the party.

#horseracing #hkracing #hkjc #andrewlejeune #rivet #ruthven #goodomen #douglaswhyte


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