TIME FOR SOME R’N R, BAMBINOS: RULERSHIP AND RISPOLI REIGN SUPREME IN THE AUDEMARS PIGUET QE CUP!
An “emphatic win” would not be doing it justice. Japanese raider, Rulership, demolished whatever else was in the race and mberto Rispoli just might be as good as he believes himself to be. Self belief is a great thing to have. We loved the cheeky arrogance of the young Italian jockey who, once he saw how easily he had won the race, stood up in his irons and looked at the grandstand as if to say, “Look, everyone, how easy was THAT?”
After days of talk and hype and pundits, the HK$14m Audemars Piguet Cup turned into a one act affair. Who came second, third and fourth? Does it matter? Seriously? Rulership reigned supreme, the emotions of the Japanese connections of the horse and the jockey were stuff which real racing is made of and extremely well captured by the HKJC Club production team.
We have bagged them before for their productions, but this time, they captured it all and was one of THE best post-race footage we have seen.
Hard luck stories? We don’t’ want to hear them and ayone who goes crying to the media with them is a a total knob. Thumbs Up, though good to come second, and Sweet Orange, which, despite a good barrier draw, again got lost in the shuffle and came third, were SIMPLY NOT GOOD ENOUGH. In fact, we’re wondering of Sweet Orange is even all that good and also tipping that “Wayward” Marwing will not be on the horse again- ever. People own horses to win with them and loyalty can only go so far. The other horses in this race? Simply not good enough. Not today. More importantly, we, in Hong Kong, just might have seen the new Frankie Dettori in Umberto Rispoli. Might have.
GUESS WHICH JOCKEYS ARE TALKING A LOAD OF BOLLOCKS AND ARE POOR SPORTS
WHILE OTHERS ARE MEN ENOUGH TO TAKE IT ON THE CHIN?
Audemars Piguet QE II Cup post-race quotes
1st – Rulership – Umberto Rispoli (jockey) “I was scared about the pace before the race, I thought it would be very slow so I chose to push forward and the run came for me on the turn. I’m so happy. This is a dream for me. It’s unbelievable.” 2nd – Thumbs Up – Brett Prebble (jockey) “If only we’d draw a gate. His run was super, he sustained a long effort all the way to the wire.”
3rd – Sweet Orange – Weichong Marwing (jockey)
“Just another case of being behind in these slowly run races but he finished off well when he got a gap.”
4th – Zaidan – Olivier Doleuze (jockey)
“He had every chance. Perfect run – we tracked through behind the winner but couldn’t match him. He ran well but maybe he’s just a tiny bit under the best of these horses.”
5th – California Memory – Matthew Chadwick (jockey)
“That was a much improved run. We’ll see how he pulls up and then look at where he goes next.”
6th – Pure Champion – Andreas Suborics (jockey)
“I had the perfect race and he kept on trying up the straight, he just couldn’t quite match the really nice horses but it was a nice run.”
7th – Irian – Tim Clark (jockey)
“Had a decent position with cover which presented him with his chance but he weakened instead of quickening.”
8th – Chinchon – Ryan Moore (jockey)
“He ran very well but just couldn’t get into the race – they were too strong for him.”
9th – Treasure Beach – Jamie Spencer (jockey)
“That was very disappointing, he just didn’t fire.”
10th – Fay Fay – Douglas Whyte (jockey)
“He led and was travelling fine but then at the turn he was hanging badly and didn’t finish off. I think he’s come to the end of his run.”
11th – Mr Medici – Zac Purton (jockey)
“He had a nice run but when the gap came he couldn’t accelerate.”
12th – Viscount Nelson – Kevin Shea (jockey)
“Maybe he wasn’t good enough. I thought he ran very well for him – that’s about as good as we think he is.”
13th – Collection – Wayne Smith (jockey)
“Travelled very keen and we hadn’t gone too far when he seemed to go wrong.”
JOCKEYS OF THE DAY
WINNERS: BRETT PREBBLE AND UMBERTO RISPOLI
Prebble rode a very good treble- two winners for John Moore and one for Caspar Fownes- while Rispoli brought home two winners including the winner of the QE Cup.
It really was a two-horse race.
THE “I NEED A CHIROPRACTER” AWARD
WINNER: ALVIN “THE CHIPMUNK” NG
If he didn’t look around so much, “The Chipmunk” would have been able to get onto the rails and guide his ride Lotus Love home.
Instead, he was constantly twisting his neck to look back at something- what? What?- and allowed Matthew Chadwick on the plunge horse in the race to get onto he rails and dictate the pace.
And when it came to power and strength and vigour and all the other words which mean the same thing, “The Chipmunk” showed all the muscle of a”Shrimpmuk” and couldn’t even run a place on Lotus Love, the favourite for the race. It was faintly amusing at one time- Alvin Ng not living up to all the hype when he first arrived in Hong Kong from New Zealand- enough said- but it’s now getting tiring.
The kid cannot compete with any of the jockeys riding in Hong Kong and the all-too-familiar mutterings of “Yeah, but Alvin Ng is riding it” will see owners jocking the kid off any horses with winning chances and trainers only using him to play the “handicapping game.”
This was an appalling ride and one which should not be seen on a Hong Kong race track. “Trying his best” is not good enough when “the best” this kid can do is simply not good enough.
Any female jockey in Oz can outride “The Shrimpmunk”- and which is not meant to sound chauvinistic.
In the meantime, get “The Chipmunk” a good chiropractor as he was turning his neck around again- this time for a good reason: He had, somehow, managed to win on the well-backed 6 to 1 shot in Race 5- Cheerful Double.
THE “DANCING QUEENS ” AWARD
WINNERS: CASPAR FOWNES AND BRETT PREBBLE
Cas has a very nice one in Dance For Gold and this was Brett Prebble at his best and not having one of his too frequent “slow starts.”
Somehow, when riding for “Cas-i-bah” these “slow starts” never happen. It mainly seems to happen- and we could be very wrong- when riding for David Hall. Hmmmmm.
Meanwhile, keep following the horse which came second- John Size’s Vivacissmo which was knocked about by Dougie Whyte.
This looks to have a helluva lot of improvement to come.
THE “WATCH ME MAKE THE ZAC ATTACK PANIC” AWARD
WINNER: LITTLE TIMMY CLARK ON LEADING CITY
When Little Timmy Clark took off and had something like a four length lead over hot pot Little Bridge, we thought to ourselves, WTF- “The Hobbit” might just have stolen this. And he nearly did until Zac Purton got to work on Little Bridge and we saw just what a good horse it is.
But for a few seconds, “The Hobbit” gave many a different kind of Zac Attack than what we usually expect- and which paid 5 to 1 to place- at least it did in Oz.
THE “CATCH ME IF YOU CAN” AWARD
WINNER: UMBERTO RISPOLI
Perhaps he had been watching Little Timmy Clark’s ride in the earlier race, but young Italian rider Umberto Ripoli burnt off his rivals with outsider Empire City as the two favorites made very late and futile bids to catch the winner. Young Ripoli is pulling the pin on Hong Kong and heading to France next week to fulfill one of his life-long ambitions to be a truly world class jockey. When you see a chance, grab it with both hands. One thing Rispoli is not lacking in is supreme confidence. After him taking out the QE Cup, we think Hong Kong racing fans have found a new jockey to follow and “idolize”. Forget Maxime Guyon. Umberto Rispoli has arrived.
THE “GET ME A NEW FUNG SHUI MAN!” AWARD
OWNER: JOHN “BAD BA BA” YUEN
When his new horse Good Hong Kong started off as favourite and, again, failed to win- it didn’t even place- we roared with delight. After all, its owner is the fung shui-driven horse owner John Yuen who doesn’t listen to trainers or jockeys or even his heart- if he has one: He only listens to his fung shui expert, but, recently, something seems off and Yuen might have to move his furniture around. Even his Good Ba Ba which was shipped to Macau to keep racing has yet to make an appearance. As for Good Hong Kong, what’s the bet that current trainer Danny Shum loses the horse? Then again, which trainer would take it? Oh, yes, we forgot about Andy Leung.
FINISH OF THE DAY
WINNERS: DOUGIE WHYTE AND JEFF LLOYD
One of the best compliments we have heard about Jeff Lloyd was when a fellow jockey told us, “It’s fucking hard to get past that old, cross-eyed bastard.” Yes, like another fiftysomething rider in the great Felix Coetzee, Jeff Lloyd is very hard to get past. And so, in race 7, Lloyd on Sterling City and Whyte on the hot pot Can Do had a ding-dong battle royale all down the straight with neither jockey yelling, “Uncle”. At the end, class prevailed and the John Size-trained Can Do, dug in, the penny dropped and it managed to get away and win despite a class rise and a 13 pound rise in the handicaps. This is an exciting young horse as is Sterling City and let’s hope neither are crucified by the handicapper.
THE WTF? AWARD