Clock ticking on rider Tiley's stable search
TIME is running out for jockey Nigel Tiley (right) who has two weeks to find a stable for next season or he's on his way back home to New Zealand.
The frequently harsh facts of racing life in Hongkong were made very clear to Tiley on Friday when retaining trainer Alex Wong Siu-tan was not given Jockey Club permission to retain a trainer next season.
Tiley, already advised that the Licensing Committee will oppose his application for a jockey's licence by invoking the three-year rule, has now been told that his appeal against that decision can only go ahead if he has found a stable by May 14.
The hard-working Tiley wasted no time and has already spoken to Geoff Lane.
''At least it is all very clear-cut. If I have an agreement to ride for a stable then at least I can go ahead with the appeal and hope that it is successful.
''I have had a word with Geoff and we will have to see what comes out of it.
''It's not going to be any hardship to go home but, as I have said all along, I was expecting to be here for five years and now it looks like I am leaving after four,'' he said.
Tiley, who rode out a tremendous, battling finish on Filipachi in the seventh yesterday won't give up easily.
But it will not be easy and, like Filipachi, he could finish second.
IT is always good to welcome new sponsors to the racing game and Piaget stepped manfully into the gap left by their fellow French firm, Chaumet.
However, it might have been wiser had the powers that be in the Jockey Club consulted more closely with the sponsors and come up with another name for the trophy presented yesterday.
It was the Piaget Gold Cup and very impressive, too. Unfortunately, it is also unnecessarily confusing. We had the Hongkong Gold Cup a month ago - the second leg of the Triple Crown.
At first glance, it merely looks as if the esteemed firm are sponsoring an already established race - rather than initiating their own.
IT now appears that the amount of caffeine which showed up in the post-race swab of Top News was small.
That, presumably, was known immediately so why did the Jockey Club not let it be known quickly and officially that this, in all likelihood, was not going to be a ''doping scandal'' or ''doping scare'' so beloved of the tabloids? There is nothing like coming clean and doing it quickly to stop rampant speculation.
There is simply no truth in reports that some journalists will do anything for a story.
Ironic, isn't it, that the horse at the centre of the caffeine controversy is owned by leading Chinese newspaper proprietors? Certainly Top News is unlikely to ever gain the same headline treatment for future on-track performances.
IT was another second place yesterday for the team of Patrick Biancone and Gerald Mosse - and the brilliant young rider is ready for a change of luck.
Advised of the Chinese custom to cut your hair to change your luck, he said: ''Cutting my hair would not be enough the way it is going at the moment. Maybe it is better to cut off my head.'' No need for the guillotine just yet, cher Gerald.