By Hans Ebert

He might not exactly have the type of personality we warm to, but it would be churlish not to congratulate Craig Williams for his brilliant sextet of winners at Flemington yesterday. There wasn’t a hint of Willow making an appearance. Mr Craggles was in the zone.

And what about the completely effortless win of the Darren Weir trained and Damien Lane ridden Nature Strip over 1100 metres? Can it run out a strong 1200 metres? The comments below to the tweet from from now Singapore based Aussie trainer Lee Freedman make for fairly interesting reading.

Of course, with his media homies prodding the issue, The Man From The North who sells slot machines on the side will do everything possible to persuade owner Rod Lyons that the colt can scale new heights and to where the Sherpas roam. Time will tell and common sense will prevail. Whatever will be will be like a Doris Day song and if there’s nothing in it for us, who cares?

What we do care about is racing in Western Australia and why and how it continues to be the Rodney Dangerfield of racing in Australia. At least some of us in Hong Kong have always followed racing in WA- enjoyable, profitable and with some very good gallopers, trainers and riders. Let’s turn a deaf ear to the excitable chihuahua whose not-for-prime time voice cuts through the sound barrier like a buzz saw. We guess he serves a purpose as he IS knowledgeable despite the steady flow of verbiage.

Forget about him laughing at his own “jokes” and his Arfing sounds. The post race interviews conducted by Brittany Taylor are excellent. Wish more in horse racing tuned into TAB Touch Radio and heard this girl- professional, knowledgeable and likeable. And a former Miss Australia contestant. Beauty and brains. Wow, what a concept.

If one wishes to talk about “fill ups” and punctuate wins on social media with words like BOOM and BANG, well, guess we can make noises like the Flintstones after favourites saluted in ALL eight races at Belmont in WA yesterday including the very good win of “Come Play With Me” ridden by Peter Knuckey.

There was also a well-executed double from Lucy Warwick, wins for Kate Witten, Paul Harvey and Shaun O’Donnell whereas at Broome, female riders were to the fore on all seven races with wins on well backed runners for Kyra Yuill, below, Michelle Hagley, Simone Altieri, Bonnie Palaise and Ellie Cockram.

It was a great day out for the girls and those who are not shy about taking odds of around $2.2. Isn’t the name of the game about winning- especially if not an owner with a champion galloper? It’s wonderful to watch a great galloper win, but where’s the return on time and investment? Sending out a BOOOOM tweet?

As for Hong Kong, the best must be being saved for the last as the meeting at Sha Tin this afternoon is one that has us nodding off. Not one race really leaps off the page. But with MASSIVE jackpots up for grabs in the Triple Trio, Six Up and the third Double Trio, it would be silly not to try our luck though it really wouldn’t surprise if, especially the Triple Trio, is again a tough nut to crack, and with an even bigger jackpot rolling over to the last meeting of the season.

How many times have we seen that happen before? The Triple Trio looking easy and some joker spoiling the party? The three legs of today’s exotic bet look deceivingly easy.

As for the battle for the jockey premiership, it’s looking decidedly one-sided now with The Zac Attack seemingly having it all parcelled up.

Frankly, other than them probably riding the Quinellas in the fourth, ninth and tenth races, the rides of Zac and Joao are hardly inspiring. They have an average book of rides with each probably riding a double and the magic man grabbing the ride on the galloper creatively named herbal cure-all Cordyceps being a somewhat interesting move.

Cordyceps, known to some including HKJC form analyst Paul Lally, who’s been in terrific tipping form, and educated the millions of viewers of the HKJC mega production Racing To Win about this also being a herbal form of “Himalayan Viagra”, ran a mighty strong race for Derek Leung to come third at its last start and debut in Hong Kong. Win, lose or draw, it’s a must to watch the staying powers of the horse. Either that or purchase a $19,900 box of Cordyceps and spread the love.

Of course if things happen to be quiet for Purton and Moreira, this opens things up for others. Interesting are trainers Almond Lee, Michael Chang and Derek Cruz fighting to meet their required quota of winners for the season in order to be licensed for the next, and the fight to the wire between Derek Leung and Matthew Poon for the Tony Cruz Award given to the leading local jockey. Leung holds a three win lead but the Poon Train, below, is refusing to be derailed.

The Poon Train’s never-give-up attitude is unlike coverage of the numbingly tedious Eclipse Stakes Day that for some reason was shown last night from the UK and where those who bothered to watch had to suffer through the vision going on and off- at least this being the case on Channel 668 on NOWTV.

It’s a day where the card might not be exactly exciting, but grabbing any of those jackpots will definitely give you a horn with the last race looking like it could be raining outsiders.

#Horseracing #HKracing #CraigWilliams #NatureStrip #ZacPurton #JoaoMoreira #Cordyceps #BrittanyTaylor

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