[But can we do without these tacky looking “cheering squads” made up of escapees from a TVB variety show?

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RIDE AND JOCKEY OF THE MEETING

WINNER: DOUGLAS WHYTE ON FAY FAY TO WIN THE MERCEDES-BENZ HONG KONG DERBY.

Forget that there were “hard-luck” stories in the race. If the John Size-trained Fay Fay hadn’t won, it too would be a “hard luck story”.

We’re tired of hearing about a horse being “unlucky.” One could say that even Fay Fay was “unlucky”- but Whyte made it all work for him.

Drawn barrier 14, Whyte had Fay Fay about five wide, didn’t wish to be out there and so was “helped” a little by Felix Coetzee on Real Specialist to get in- and from there he took control.

He won his second Hong Kong Derby and the first Derby win for his mate- trainer John Size

Once again, Weichong Marwing “got into trouble” on Sweet Orange while the other supposed big chance in the race- John Moore’s Dominant which our Guru bagged as a “bad purchase for Hong Kong”- was never to be seen.

Douglas Whyte took the race by the scruff of its neck and is proving time and time again that, as a jockey, he is in a class all by himself and riding In The Zone.

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THE “GOOD GAWD! HAS HE ACTUALLY IMPROVED???” AWARD

WINNER: DOUGLAS WHYTE

Some have wondered of Douglas Whyte is “truly world class” and if he is “strong in a finish.”

Well, if one has watched the champion jockey in recent weeks, he is certainly riding as strong as any jockey out here- and anywhere.

His truly brilliant ride in Race 4 to win on Sudden Thunder took all the strength in the world to stave off and repel the challenge of Gerard Mosse and showed that “The Durban Dragon” is breathing fire these days- and getting even better than the champion jockey that he is.

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THE “DAZED AND CONFUSED” AWARD

WINNER: ALVIN “THE CHIPMUNK” NG

Anyone watch “The Chipmunk’s” ride on Meridian Star?

After getting it away from barrier 14 and out in front, the apprentice who came to Hong Kong with such a “boom tag” didn’t seem to know what to do- lead, take a sit, go home, go to McDonald’s, and which left us wondering why he bothered leading and then be confused about what to do?

The horse ended up coming fourth and blew one person we know out of the Six Up.

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THE “IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HORSE?” AWARD

WINNER:OLIVIER DOLEUZE

The flamboyant Frenchman riding as if someone was clicking the On/Off switch.

He was his usual hard-riding self when he threw everything at outsider Giant Seraphis in Race 5 and then again when he got another outsider- the whip-shy Great Stories- to win Race 8- and waving his hand about and putting his whip away, but was then never even sighted on the two red-hot favourites in Races 3 and Race 6. Ollie, pourquoi, mon ami?

As for the winner of Race 6- John Moore’s Cosmic Boom- what an effortless win.

Did it beat much? Not really, but it’s the ease in which he won made was jaw-dropping.

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THE “PROFESSOR HIGGINS” AWARD

WINNER:THE PUKKA SOUNDING MALE EMCEE AT MERCEDES-BENZ DERBY DAY.

Who he and where did he come from?

Hell, he sounded more pukka than the old Wally who does something or another for the HKJC.

Veddy veddy British, dear chap, stiff upper lip, pip, pip, tally ho and all that.

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THE “WHAT’S IN A NAME?” AWARD

WINNER: GIANTS SERAPIS

The Triple Trio came to a shuddering stop to many when a horse named Giants Serapis got up at big odds to run second.

Many around us could barely pronounce the name and even Race-caller and a learned man- Darren Flindell- was wondering what the hell a Serapis was- let alone a GIANT Serapis.

Well, that’s the Serapis bloke above- an Egyptian God who some say was actually Jesus.

Who comes up with these NAMES????

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THE “TAKE ME TO THE NEAREST MCDONALD’S, PRONTO!” AWARD.

WINNER: GERARD MOSSE

The Frenchman is one of the world’s greatest Big Race jockeys, but his rides in recent months, have been, well, merde.

If one wanted to spot the jockey, all you had to do is look for the horse being ridden widest of them all.

For some reason- perhaps he just wanted to ensure that he doesn’t take any unnecessary risks before leaving Hong Kong for France- “The Parrot” has stayed away from any really competitive racing.

And so it was with his ride in the Premier Plate- Pure Champion- the favourite of the race and ridden four wide with no cover.

Merde, indeed.

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THE “OH NO, NOT AGAIN! AWARD

WINNER:SOMEONE FROM THE HKJC TRACKSIDE TEAM

Always make sure that the microphones are OFF no matter how fucking annoying things are.

As the strains of the Bee Gees’ “Staying Alive” boomed through Shatin very audible was the plaintive groan- “Oh, no! Not AGAIN!”

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THE “NOT-SO-HAPPY-ENDINGS” AWARD

WINNER:THE SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST’S RACING POST AND JOCKEY NEIL CALLAN

This goes for the headline in its Derby Special which screamed out, “Departing Callan To Beat Off Competitors.”

We’re really not sure if Callan’s competitors wanted any Happy Endings from the affable Englishman.

Speaking of which, Neil Callan beat off no one what with his Derby runner being a resounding flop while his last ride in Hong Kong- another John Moore runner in Straight Gold- completely stuffing up the start of the race and ending up a well-beaten second. When it rains it pours and Callan was also reprimanded and then copped a three-day suspension for careless riding.

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THE “ANNUAL HONG KONG WILDEBEEST” AWARD

WINNER: TRAINER DAVID “DARTH VADER” FERRARIS

Talking to the Racing Post about the fickleness of Hong Kong owners and the mass exodus of horses from his stable, racing’s Darth Vader was quoted as saying, “Hong Kong makes the wildebeest of the Serengeti look tame.” We doubt his comments after seeing jockey Weichong Marwing get “lost in translation” on his BIG Derby hope- Sweet Orange- can even be printed here.

“Darth” himself is said to have become a “wildebeest of the Serengeti”.

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THE “SPOOKY COWBOYS AND ALIENS ” AWARD

WINNER:RACE 3 AT SHATIN

Try as he might, jockey Neil Callan couldn’t “beat off” anything as he was knocked from pillar to post and didn’t even run a place as the second favourite in Race 3.

For various, reasons, we totally left out the favourite in the race- the John Moore-trained Flash Knight- when we saw Olivier Doleuze on it behind the barriers.

We figured aliens had spooked the horse and something just didn’t look kosher.

Watching the head-on of the race, good grief, what the hell was happening and with at the end of all the carnage, a 100 to 1 bolter- Polymer Win ridden by Alex HW Lai won, another one at big odds ran the quinella and another 100 to 1 shot running third.

The favourites? They ran as if “aliens ” had shot them with ray-guns.

What we found to be particularly amusing was watching Ricky Yiu, the trainer of the winning horse, trying to explain to the connections what the hell had happened.

What happened? Well, something had to win when Callan on Sean Woods’ Radiomarelli was, er, beaten off and ran like a drunken sailor.

We would love to read the Stipes Report on this one.

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THE “THUMBS UP” AWARD

WINNERS: CASPAR FOWNES, BRETT PREBBLE AND THUMBS UP.

The perfect ride and another great tonic as Brett Prebble makes his comeback following a nasty fall.

And what a great training performance by Caspar The Younger to keep this injury-plagued horse going and to win the Premier Plate.

It would be churlish of anyone to forget this win by the team.