Here's wishing For My Wishes would play it straight
IF owner Nelson Poon Hung-cheong could have one wish granted it would probably be for For My Wishes to pursue a straight course in the concluding stages of his races.
In what was surely a Hong Kong record, For My Wishes lost a race he had 'won' for the second successive time yesterday.
Last time out, apprentice Philip C. T. Cheng was aboard the John Moore-trained runner and ended up racing all over the place in the closing stages.
He lost the race on an objection and Cheng was suspended.
Yesterday, leading jockey Robbie Fradd was aboard and he cleverly nursed For My Wishes round in the 1,400-metre event. Halfway down the straight, he pushed For My Wishes towards the line and the horse responded.
Fradd used the whip once and For My Wishes ducked in dramatically, colliding with eventual runner-up Top Racer (10-1).
The result was a formality and For My Wishes was relegated to second place.
Fradd, who had corrected the horse and put away the whip, was not censured.
For My Wishes has now cost his owner $392,000 in prize money.
But he's not a bad horse - if he could be persuaded to stay straight.
THE Hong Kong Cup is losing a top overseas runner and the Carbine Club misses out on a speaker.
That's the news from Newmarket where Sir Mark Prescott, who trains the four-year-old filly Alborada, is set to decline the offer to run in the $10 million Hong Kong Cup.
Alborada, winner in successive years of the Dubai Champion Stakes on home turf over 2,000 metres, looked a definite chance in the Cup which, strangely enough, may not be the toughest of the four International Races to be contested.
The Carbine Club, named after the magnificent Australian galloper from the turn of the century, has had its popular HKIR lunch for the past seven years and paraded some notable speakers for the enjoyment of its members and guests.
President Derek Currie confirmed that Sir Mark had been earmarked for one of the two slots and said: 'By very reliable accounts, he is an excellent speaker and we were very much hoping to get him.
'But it now seems the horse is not going to run here and, obviously as a result, Sir Mark won't be here either.' The hunt goes on.
LADIES' Day has invariably been the Jockey Club's most successful promotion and that was certainly the case yesterday.
Letting the ladies in free and also levying no charge for her male companion is a winner.
So, too, is the gift of a brooch, as long as they don't run out too quickly.
Likewise, the decision to dispense with visiting overseas jockettes for the day was smart.
They were not really up to it and certainly did not bring in the crowd.
There should be another good crowd next Sunday with a $21 million carryover for the Triple Trio, which was won yesterday - but only with a $2 unit.
The turnover for the day was $1.19 billion.
ALL who knew her were deeply saddened by the death of Sara Hood in England last week.
In love with life as well as Wally, she made friends, and kept them, across the world.
There were more than a few tears in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand when the news came through that Sara had succumbed to cancer, which was first diagnosed five months ago. Her marriage caught some by surprise.
Jockey Wally, who rode in Hong Kong for 11 years up to 1987, was a gritty Yorkshireman from a Pontefract mining family.
Sara was connected to some of the best blueblood racing families in England.
But for 17 eventful years, they were totally devoted to each other and less than four years ago their daughter, Tallia, was born.
Sara was only 39 when she died, but a lot of people have lived twice as long and not enjoyed life half as much.
She was a loving wife, devoted mother and a very, very good friend.
The thoughts of his many friends in Hong Kong, in and outside racing, are with Wally at this time.
Robin Parke THE FINAL SAY THE FINAL SAY