By Hans Ebert

“It’s a given”. “It’s a moral”. “All Tommy needs to do is just sit on him”. “He just needs to be ridden on a long rein.”

For the last week, that’s all many have heard about how Pakistan Star will win the Champions and Chater Cup this afternoon with new race rider Tommy Berry aboard and who’s twice trialled one of the fascinating horses we have come across.

Both trials were successful and they certainly showed that Pakistan Star likes the rider. If he didn’t, we’d know.

This most intelligent of horses with the brashness and unpredictability of Captain Jack Sparrow must like and approve who’s on his back. If he doesn’t, he digs his heels in and decides that, “Nah, beat the hell out of me, but I ain’t going nowhere. It’s my party and I’ll run if I want to.”

With just five runners following the enforced withdrawal of the Tony Cruz-trained Time Warp, the Champions and Chaters Cup run over 2400 metres really should be an exhibition gallop for Pakistan Star to many. He’s said to have mended his errant ways and is now a real racehorse. Hmmmm. If ANYTHING happens to change this script, well, it could be more ugly and demented than Jack Nicholson in “The Shining”.

As someone who definitely wants to see Pakistan Star win for a number of reasons put it, “It really depends on which Pakistan Star shows up. Hopefully it won’t be Slim Shady”.

Win, lose or draw, the appearance of Pakistan Star, one of three runners trained by Cruz, turns every race meeting he’s in into an event. He OWNS them. His attitude cannot be ignored. If there’s any reason to bet on him, it has to be a fun and almost goofy bet type. Like, How long can Pakistan Star maintain his cool while being paraded, especially with this afternoon certain to be hotter than a tandoori oven? And, Where will Pakistan Star be when the barriers open? Still in the barriers or at the Viceroy enjoying a chicken vindaloo with some garlic naan?

Perhaps the HKJC just might have the one bet that could attract the most risk averse race goer who’s yet to be convinced about backing horse racing…


One had to chuckle at those who have paid extremely big bucks to join a punters club in Australia purely for the tips offered by a well known racing personality who has been cleverly turned into a brand. Let’s call his punters club The Tom Tom Club.

Yesterday at Randwick the best bet of the day from The Tom Tom Club was Vontaine. At the “juicy odds” of $1.28, it came second to the 12 to 1 Touch Of Mink ridden by Andrew Adkins and the on top tip to win the race by former Hong Kong based race caller Darren Flindell.

In Hong Kong itself, Vontaine was dismissed by those who follow racing in Sydney as being at silly odds and definitely one of Brenton Avdulla’s lesser chances on a day when the popular rider executed a quartet of winners. Avdulla is so hellbent to win the Sydney Jockey Premiership that he’s said to have turned an offer to ride for the last three months of this Hong Kong racing season.

Hopefully Racing NSW Deputy Chairman of Stewards Philip Dingwall, once with the HKJC, was carefully watching the winning rides after opening an enquiry into one of Avdulla’s rides at Canterbury a few days earlier. Dingwall was apparently “sending out a signal”. Really? To who? Batman?

As for those who have asked, no. Hong Kong racing certainly doesn’t want Philip Dingwall back here. We’re extremely happy with him being exactly where he is. May the Horse be with him. Please.

Are horse racing writing writers an endangered species?


It was a return from too long in the wilderness as Kranji Mile Day went international yesterday and the Singapore Turf Club welcomed back international runners including Hong Kong based riders, horses and trainers.

Though rounding up all the connections for the winning photos sounded a bit frenetic, and having a, er, swimming pool pretty close to the winning post seemed a little odd, the coverage was excellent whereas the simulcast in Hong Kong avoided the dog’s breakfast served up a few weeks ago from Turrfontein and Newmarket.

Professionally handled, and despite the weather gods deciding to rain on the parade, it was a very good night of racing. The meeting saw Karis Teetan ride a double, Zac Purton win on Mr Clint, below, the very impressive Lee Freedman trained winner of the Singapore Guineas.

Half an hour later, it was like old times- a Hong Kong Quinella when The Zac Attack and Caspar Fownes combined to take out the Group 1 Singapore Mile with Southern Legend and Horse Of Fortune running second.

The other highlights of the night? A great ride by Glen Boss to win the Lion City Cup aboard Lim’s Cruiser, and to those of us who always have time for him, seeing Daniel Moor, below, currently on a short riding stint in Singapore, win the last race of the night for Lee Freedman on Aotearoa.

#horseracing #PakistanStar #HKJC #KranjiMile #SouthernLegend #ZacPurton #KarisTeetan #CasparFownes #LeeFreedman #BrentonAvdulla

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