Early punters waste stakes on Dream Horse

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 June, 2006, 12:00am

Hong Kong's faithful army of early shoppers are an estimated $150,000 out of pocket this morning, having bet blindly on likely early favourite Dream Horse in race eight at Sha Tin this afternoon.

Veterinary surgeons ruled out Dream Horse before betting began yesterday, but some punters have apparently blazed away on the promising Tony Cruz-trained three-year-old, blissfully unaware that he'll be at home in his box when the race is decided.

Number four in the eighth event will now be Easy, an Irish-bred three-year-old who is making his local debut after winning one of six in England. While Easy went soundly in his first barrier trial on February 2, the City On A Hill gelding has had an interrupted preparation and failed to beat a runner home in his most recent trial on May 9 after showing speed.

At 6pm last night, with close to $1 million having already been bet across all pools on this race, Easy was a $49 favourite. On the quinella grid, the 4-8 combination of Easy and New Milestone (pictured) was $100 favourite.

Scratchings for Hong Kong races are posted at 11am on the day before the race meeting and betting then begins. Emergency runners who get a run at this time assume the saddlecloth number and barrier of the horse they replace. Those emergencies who do not gain a start at this time become scratchings.