Cheerless MJC cut back on night life
THE Macau Jockey Club (MJC) goes into the festive period with a two-day meeting and badly in need of some Christmas cheer.
The MJC told members this week that they had cancelled six planned night meetings in the second part of the season, finally conceding that their determined efforts to establish night races as part of the Taipa calendar had failed.
It was no surprise. The MJC had tried to get Saturday night meetings established because the whole financial betting framework of the club is dependent on Hong Kong support to stay in business.
Thousands of Hong Kong people do travel to Macau on Saturday afternoon and evenings - to play the casinos. The racing fans are at Sha Tin or in the betting shops.
Turnover for night meetings has generally been dismal and the axing of six of them is simply common fiscal sense.
Ominously, however, turnover for the MJC's regular weekend meetings has remained moribund despite very strenuous efforts to make the programmes attractive.
The powers that be at the MJC cannot seem to get into their heads one simple fact: nobody wants 11 and 12-race cards. It is simply too much racing on one day and spread over too long a time.
The biggest event in the early months of the New Year will be the return of Gary Moore to the saddle. He begins riding trackwork at Taipa next week and expects to be fully fit and ready for action at the Lunar New Year double-header programme.
Moore is mustard-keen to do well and father George is certainly lining them up for Gary.
Reluctant beginner Fortune Basin seems to have mended his ways judging by a fluent all-the-way win in yesterday's only barrier trial on the Sha Tin equitrack.
With racing all but closed down for the holiday period, only six runners were involved in the 1,150-metre trial and they never saw the way the Irish sprinter went.
Trial result: 1, FORTUNE BASIN (Richard K. M. So); 2, Charity Supporters (Darren Gauci); 3, Happy Landing (Raymond S. M. Tam). Others (in finishing order): Saladin, Cop The Cash, Grand Way. Margins: 4 lengths, 2 lengths. Time: 1.11.3 (26.2).