By Hans Ebert
Either it was Sunday or bust or, at first, without even a ride in the last tonight, it seemed as if he was rushing home to watch the second World Cup match of the night.
One cannot remember Joao Moreira having quite such an El Yawno book of rides as he has tonight at Happy Valley since arriving in Hong Kong and dominating local racing, rewriting the history books and, lest one forgets, winning a few Jockey Premierships.
What’s left for him to prove in Hong Kong? What’s the challenge? Make a few more millions? Ride another eight winners at Shatin? People have very short memories. Must be the social media world they live in.
The incredibly competitive racing on Sunday and the glorious rallies back and forth between Purton and Moreira were brilliant to watch. In all the years of watching racing, there’s never been anything like that.
Maybe this tour de force was a spoiler alert, because what’s served tonight is an average side dish. Thank goodness there’s an invitation only After Race party at Adrenaline with the venue staying open for some to watch the important World Cup match between England and Croatia.
No, the great footballer Kevin Keegan (below with the resident band at Adrenaline and the HKJC CEO) won’t be there, but we’re holding out hope that walking horse racing encyclopaedia Andrew Hawkins finally makes a debut appearance. On a horse?
Whereas Joao Moreira makes his final appearance on a Happy Wednesday at least for a while, so will race caller John “And awaaaay they go” Blance who’s ending his three year tenure in Hong Kong. Here’s someone who really put everything into his calls.
Possibly the most different race caller imported by the HKJC, mainly because of his Northern accent, smidgens of Francais and Espanol creeping into his rather long exchanges with his colleagues, references to racetracks in places like Ripon, Market Resin etc and who brought a certain “John Drake” type of intellectuality to his calls, John Blance will return to Angleterre and a new gig. A replacement is yet to be named. But to follow in the footsteps of John Blance will be a tough act unless looking at perhaps Derek Nimmo or Rowan Atkinson.
Getting back to racing, despite the tepid looking card, a Happy Wednesday race meeting has always been a more chilled out affair comprising ‘live’ music, fashionistas, a truly international and younger vibe down at the Beer Garden and more uptown funk happening at Adrenaline (Entrance C, 2nd Floor), which we know will be packed out.
The Zac Attack will more than likely ride a few more winners in what’s been a brilliant season for him where he’s gone from strength to strength, lifted his game, pulled out all stops, and outridden the magic man over the past few months. He will no doubt outride him again on Sunday at the final race meeting of the season at Sha Tin.
As far as we’re concerned, Zac’s best winning chances are in races 3,5 and 6. If Joao Moreira has any winning chances, they’re probably in races 2 and 4. But…
Far more interesting are the rides of Neil Callan, local boys Vincent CY Ho, Jack HN Wong, and The Poon Train with the Thinking Man’s rider Douglas Whyte never to be ignored. He didn’t win thirteen consecutive Hong Kong Jockey Premierships by sitting on his arse and twittering sweet Fanny Adams. Repeat: Thirteen. Repeat: Fanny Adams.
There’s definitely more happening with Mr Whyte than meets the eye. And if interested in a bet of pretty game changing proportions, we’d be looking in his direction.
History has proven that he’s deadliest when quiet, sitting back, enjoying his cigar and watching the children play. He’s seen and heard it all before. He knows which way the wind blows. And who’s blowing smoke up arses.
#HKracing #HKJC #Adrenaline #ZacPurton #JoaoMoreira #DouglasWhyte #JohnBlance #HappyWednesdayHK #Goracinghk