Everyone likes to get the New Year off on the right note. And when those notes are few crisp $1000 notes, the start can put a certain spring in your step.
So, along with well over 60,000 people, I’ll be heading to Shatin on Sunday and see if 2012 starts off with a bang and not a whimper.
Let’s not forget that there is a HUGE Triple Trio Jackpot to be won and only a fool would not, at least, try having a go at getting this. And also there is also a jackpot for the six up, 23 Million HKD, what do you think?!
Win this and, well, Bang, Bang, baby!
As for the rest of the meeting and who to follow, Champion Jockey Douglas Whyte had a disastrous day last Tuesday and where he didn’t ride even one winner on a day when much of his horses were hot pots.
To add insult to injury, Darren Beadman picked up one of his discards- Lucky Bravo- and won on it at 14s.
But this could have just been one of those peculiar Whyte-washes which happen now and again to the best of them.
Douglas Whyte has always made a point to come roaring back and remind everyone that he has not been Hong Kong’s Champion Jockey by fluke.
He has worked and fought hard to get to where he is.
On Sunday, at least on paper, he looks to have some standouts- namely Mentor and Fay Fay, despite the latter being drawn barrier 14.
I really cannot see any horses beating Mentor with Quantum Power capable of running the quinella.
As for Fay Fay, Real Supreme, Dragon Fighter, Helene Spirit and the enigmatic Semos are quinella and tierce legs I like.
Trainer David Ferraris has done somewhat of an overhaul on Semos, a horse which has promised so much and delivered so little, but which goes well for Tye Angland.
The Chinese Club Challenge Cup sees John Moore entering four horses and with stable jockey Darren Beadman on Captain Sweet.
But as recent results have proven, the horses ridden by the stable jockey keep getting rolled and one has to wonder if this will be the same case again as Moore also has the very good Leading City and Admiration in the same race, along with lightweight hope White Jade.
Interestingly, Jeff Lloyd who has done so well for Moore as his “second-string” jockey, goes onto his regular ride Aashiq for trainer Paul O’Sullivan.
All I can say is Hmmmm, especially with Douglas Whyte on John Size’s Szechuan Success, and leave this race to sit and watch.
Elsewhere, two horses I won’t touch with a barge pole are both with Tony Cruz- Best Eleven and Turf Express- two horses I know from Sydney and where they were very ordinary performers, and with the latter having “mental problems.” Of course, “Cruzy” might have helped regain its sanity, but it won’t be winning or losing with any of my money.
Who do I think will win the first race of 2012?
I have narrowed it down to the Peter Ng’s Master Dragon and Danny Shum’s Alp’s Glory.
In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the combination of Danny Shum and Darren Beadman win the first two races of the year.
All in all, a very good card which should see a number of favorites greeting the judge with only Races 8 and 9 looking trappy affairs.
Here’s wishing you a winning start to the New Year!