Aitken's $1,488 bonanza on SCMP day
Chief racing writer Alan Aitken gave new meaning to the term Hat-Trick at the South China Morning Post Cup meeting at Sha Tin last Sunday, with followers of his Racing Post selections having a monster day trading quinellas.
Aitken, popularly known as Hats, found six quinellas across the 10-race programme, including the Best Luck-Jolly Good Fortune combination in the final event, which paid $685.50 for a $10 ticket.
The other big quinella for Aitken's followers was the Honey Money-Lucky Champion combination in race nine, which paid $430.50. He also found the opening quinella (Zeonic Frontier-Cannonise), which paid $166.
Appropriately for the quinella king, his best play was also a quinella, the Silent Witness-Country Music combination in the Centenary Sprint Cup, which paid $33.50.
Boxing Aitken's four selections from the Racing Post tips panel would have cost $60 per race, or $600 for the meeting, but would have returned a very healthy $1,488.50 on the tote. His big quinella day also saw him overtake racing editor Murray Bell for top spot on the tipsters' performance standings (quinella). Aitken had been on top for many weeks but was collared by Bell the previous Wednesday at Happy Valley - the Hat man obviously goes better in a competitive environment.
Aitken maintained his good work at Happy Valley on Wednesday, where he was the only tipster to successfully deliver his best bet. Wisdom Express, ridden by Craig Williams, won the first race for trainer Manfred Man Ka-leung and paid $52.00 for the win.
Aitken is a renowned student of racing , not just in Hong Kong but worldwide, and puts many hours into the study of Hong Kong form. His selections are a feature of each and every edition of Racing Post.