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It’s always made those of us who are happy being on the fringe of the horse racing world in Hong Kong and wondering why horse trainers or owners need to fly out “superstar” jockeys to the city to ride their gallopers, especially in those Group 1 races with generous prize money?

Does this mean that those jockeys riding with licenses in Hong Kong are not up to Group 1 standard?

Hugh Bowman, Andreas Atzeni, Zac Purton, Karis Teetan, Brenton Avdulla, Alexis Badel, Lyle Hewitson, the very much improved Jerry Chau, Derek Leung, Harry Bentley, Matthew Chadwick, Luke Ferraris and Vincent Ho don’t make the cut?

It was both amusing and a little sad to hear that the reason Zachary lost the ride on Lucky Sweynese was because the owners thought he was “unlucky” for their galloper. 

Photo: HKJC

After the galloper having run out of the placings in Sunday’s Silver Jubilee Cup with James McDonald on his back, one wonders if the owners might think that J-Mac is a bit of a, well, Quarter Pounder?

We might recommend that the owners of Lucky Sweynese, and other often blinkered and naive owners in Hong Kong who think the grass is always greener on the other side, look at the replay of Zac Purton’s winning on Sunday aboard Star Club- a ride that was patient, with no need to panic at the disco and just pick up those ahead of him before heading for home.

It was a superb ride as was Hugh Bowman showing just what a great horseman he is with a very patient winning ride on Patch Of Theta and the winning rides on Sunday of Brenton Avdulla, Alexis Badel, Andrea Atzeni and Antoine Hamelin, who’s terribly under-utilised.

Though one understands that the HKJC believes that it’s only a matter of time before James McDonald,a world class rider, moves to Hong Kong where he will continue his career, there are no certainties in the game of life- and especially in Hong Kong where things change every couple of hours.


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