THE SUNDAY RACING BUZZ

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
Visit Hans-Ebert.com

Our heads are still spinning over all the reasons being discussed, especially online in Chinese amongst local racing fans, as to why owner Albert Hung moved his horses Rocketeer, Pablosky and Ruthven earlier this week from the stable of John Moore to that of Frankie Lor.

While passionate racing fan Andrew Hawkins, Hong Kong racing’s Jimmy Olsen of Twitter, who lives and breathes horse racing announced this “news” in English on Friday, the Chinese online world was in a tizz with various conspiracy theories the day before. Hong Kong racing fans thrive on conspiracy theories. It keeps that long train of intrigue and innuendo running.

Seriously now, don’t people have better things to do with their lives? It’s like the Boom Bang-a-Bam brigade of usual suspects on Twitter wishing to be seen as winners when most are chump change wieners tweeting LOUDLY about their BOOM time wins.

Meanwhile, who cares if this owner owned Rapper Dragon? Rapper Dragon is no longer with us. The three horses moved are hardly champions despite a certain amount of hype surrounding Ruthven before he even raced and, in a moment of desperation, being gelded after a series of flops.

Is John Moore losing sleep over any of this? John Moore is not losing sleep over anything. He’s made stacks over the decades, his winning Cups runneth over, and he’s slipping comfortably into his retirement. As for what Frankie Lor has inherited?

Far more intriguing is what’s going on with Joao Moreira. The magic man seems all at sea these days and is hardly pulling many rabbits from his sombrero, something he once did with consummate ease by winning from impossible positions and being a brilliant judge of pace. These days he’s running into traffic jams and problems. And it’s puzzling.

Perhaps it’s the constant nipping at his heels by The Zac Attack, but possibly more to with a sudden lack of good horsepower. And without the right engines underneath you and no wind beneath one’s feet, there’s just no extra drive. Just a feeling of confusion.

While a talent like Joao Moreira can never be counted out, in demand are the apprentices- Jack Wong, Matthew Poon and Victor Wong- a different type of Three Amigos whose weight allowances come in extremely handy when competing in Hong Kong racing’s handicap driven ratings system.

Possibly the most improved of these three young riders is Jack H.N.Wong. Once reduced to playing second fiddle to all the hoopla surrounding female apprentice Kei Chiong, Jack Wong has improved lengths, especially this season.

With the somewhat sudden decision by Kei Chiong to retire from race riding, and knowing he had to lift his game following the arrival of Matthew Poon and Victor Wong armed with their respective portfolio of success stories from Adelaide, Jack Wong has come of age.

His winning ride last Wednesday on Good For You was as good as anything seen from any senior rider. It was a bold move to take an adventurous inside run that paid off. It was no fluke. It had all the hallmarks of longtime friend and champion jockey Felix Coetzee at his best.

Being in charge in the mentoring of Hong Kong’s apprentices, these tactics were no doubt ingrained into Jack Wong by one of the greatest South African riders and horsemen. Let’s never forget The Years Of The Cat and his exploits with Egyptian Ra, Rocket Man and the great Silent Witness.

Meanwhile, to those in Hong Kong who flew out for the 2018 Goodwood and could not see Vega Magic losing, our sympathies. On a very soft track, Vega Magic was all at sea. It’s not been a good time for magic. As for Ben Melham, below, well, what an absolutely brilliant ride to win the big race on Santa Ana Lane.


IS IT A BIRD? IS IT A PLANE? WHAT EXACTLY IS HK DIRECT???

It really is a confusing name. Though sounding like a direct flight from Hong Kong to somewhere between the moon and New York City, HK Direct has some very good content hidden in the multimedia section of the HKJC website. We know: What multimedia section and Where In The World Is Carmen Santiago and Where’s Waldo? Well, it’s there. Somewhere. On the site. And despite the vagaries of the name, the content is some good short-form horse racing themed programming hosted by Edward Sadler, John Blance and Andrew Le Jeune, which, over the past couple of months, has featured some very interesting interviews with Douglas Whyte, Felix Coetzee and Neil Callan showing what it takes to be the Iron Man of Hong Kong racing. But if all this hard work is not seen…

#horseracing #HKRacing #JoaoMoreira #ZacPurton #HKJC #JackWong #FelixCoetzee #BenMelham

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