By Hans Ebert
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Italian jockey Alberto Sanna leaves race goers shell shocked and reeling by winning the first race aboard over 100 to 1 shot Smart Charade. It was an Italian Job no one expected.

Many faint when seeing how much the Quartet paid: over HK$690,000- for ONE DOLLAR and not the usual $10 for a full ticket!

Derek Leung helps with a chill pill by winning race 2 on Sonic Fighter which is well backed.

The race many came to watch as it starred Pakistan Star, The Joker in the pack of Hong Kong racing. Alas, the $1.40 decides he’s not really in the mood and comes fourth in the six horse field. Maybe he wanted more competition to show everyone who’s the boss? Who knows? But we love him just the way he is.

Damien Oliver, in Hong Kong on a flying visit to ride Ruthven in the Derby for John Moore, offers backers of the stable some early hope by winning on Grand Chancellor. Why didn’t Moore’s stable jockey Tommy Berry get the ride? Think we all know. And how this horse opera is going to end.

The Zac Attack is launched with a perfect ride on race favourite Handsome Bo Bo.

As short but honest racing analyst Paul Lally will tell you over and over again, Bo Bo means “baby” in Cantonese.

Joao Moreira manages to just scrape home on People’s Knight though many had thought Neil Callan had got up on Racing Supernova. This probably includes the Iron Man himself.

Wishful Thinker blows the start and many who backed the galloper start to cry. The race goes to the injury plagued Always Win- a great training effort by Benno Yung and a very good ride by Keith Yeung.

The Big One- the BMW Hong Kong Derby- with plenty of Big Bang Theories being floated all over the place and with BMW brand ambassador and popular martial arts actor Donny Yen helping build up the crowd excitement.

For a few seconds, it looked like there were a host of chances, that is until the John Size trained Ping Hai Star- and what a masterful training effort it was- descended from the clouds and made everyone see exactly why Ryan Moore is the best jockey in the world and why Size matters.

A good concise race call without unnecessary gibbering also matters and Brett Davis delivered a great narrative.

A man of few words, Ryan Moore’s comment to Andrew Le Jeune after the win that it was a “lot of fun to ride in” must be the understatement of this Hong Kong racing season.

Cameras cracked when the usually reserved John Size with young daughter Carina by his side guffawed and Moore’s impish smile grew wider during the presentation ceremony.

Guess they knew they had created history. Ping Hai Star, who raced as Ted in Australia, had created a new Hong Kong Derby track record.

The Comeback Kid Brett Prebble kept his Renaissance period going by edging out Zac Purton in a very close finish. The BP Express looked pleased as punch. And why not? The win was no Super Fluke. It was a well-executed plan.

The curtain falls on an incredible day at the races with Nash Rawiller taking out the last race of the day on Circuit Hassler. Who came second and third? No idea. The day belonged to John Size, Ryan Moore, Ping Hai Star and a record turnover and attendance.

#HKDerby #hkracing #JohnSize #RyanMoore #PinghaiStar #hkjc

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