‘LET US Entertain You’ is this week’s theme for the happy Wednesday crowd who will flock to the public enclosure for another day of exciting racing at Happy Valley in Hong Kong.
It’s rather apt that live music will be taking place alongside the serious part of trying to find winners, as popular local Hong Kong trainer Manfred Man could have a day to remember.
For those old enough to remember (I do!), Manfred Mann were a famous pop group back in the 1960’s who had three No1 hit records and a string of top 10’s.
If trainer Manfred Man lands a few winners, I am sure there will be plenty of older Brits in the crowd singing renditions of Do Wah Diddy and Pretty Flamingo.
Man’s best chances start off in the Fakei Cup (1.45pm), shown live on At The Races and Racing UK, where E-SUPER has been allocated the all-important inside draw over five furlongs.
This very fast Australian import lost his form last season, and has consequently seen his rating drop from a high of 79 down to his current 66.
Last month he produced a blistering five-furlong dirt trial success – the fastest of the morning - which suggests he is now back to his best.
With young whizz-kid 7lb claimer Matthew Poon a significant booking for the flashy chestnut gelding, he is going to be hard to catch.
Diamonds may be a ‘girl’s best friend’ around the world, but in Asia, Jade is the precious stone that all girls crave.
There will be plenty of cheering from the females in the crowd if Man can welcome back a couple of aptly named horses to the winner’s circle today.
Man saddles the progressive JADE FORTUNE (2.45pm) over the extended one-mile trip.
The son of Showcasing steadily improved throughout last season and has an impressive track and trip record with a victory and three placings from just half-a-dozen runs.
His track-work and trial records building up to this race have been impressive and he looks sure to go close.
In the same race, I warn that punters keep an eye on the top weight Litterateur, who will be seeking to give trainer Richard Gibson a belated birthday present having turned 49 this week.
Zac Purton’s mount has huge ability but is a wayward and unpredictable character.
The Australian rider has been giving Litterateur extensive schooling to get him ready for this contest.
Jade Fortune will be ridden by former two-time Italian champion jockey Umberto Rispoli, who will be hoping for a quick-fire double when he gets the leg-up on Man’s JADE THEATRE (3.15pm), racing over six furlongs today.
Rispoli, who smashed the record books back in 2009 when riding 245 winners in Italy, is already a popular figure with the gambling-mad locals in Hong Kong.
He was out for over three months last season with a broken leg, but is now back in the groove and will be looking to celebrate with his legion of fans if he tastes success this afternoon.
Rispoli was aboard Jade Theatre when the pair struck over today’s course and distance in June.
You can guarantee there is still plenty of improvement to come from this lightly-raced four-year-old, and with the low draw an obvious plus, he has every chance of making the frame.
E-Super 1.45pm Happy Valley
Jade Fortune e/w 2.45pm Happy Valley
Jade Theatre e/w 3.15pm Happy Valley