Beadman losing battle to catch Whyte
Aussie makes most of outside ride on Mariachi but needs more where that came from
Darren Beadman wasted no time putting himself back in centre stage at Sha Tin with a double on his return from a knee injury but immediately conceded his prospects of unseating perennial champion Douglas Whyte were forlorn.
Following his induction this past week as the youngest racing champion to enter Australia's Hall Of Fame, Beadman had been quoted making optimistic noises about the championship in the Australian press but the brilliant rider had his feet back on the ground yesterday.
'As a retained jockey, you do have your limitations as you're restricted to three outside rides a weekend and two on a Wednesday,' he said.
'The club jockeys, like Douglas, can get on and off things and work the system and get themselves on top chances in four or five races every day, so it's tough to beat them.
'If it happens, it happens but I'm not concerning myself with things like that - I'm very happy here, I'm riding winners and things are working really well with John [Moore].'
One of Beadman's winners, Three Clubs, was for his retained stable but the Australian did manage to land an outside ride for Ricky Yiu Poon-fie, winning the Hong Kong International Sale December Challenge (1,400m) on Mariachi.
'I think one of the things I have to be sure of is that when I do take an outside ride, it's something with a really great chance not just a ride, so I was very happy getting on to Mariachi today,' Beadman said.
'He's got the makings of a really nice middle distance type of horse, a quality horse. He'll definitely want longer but he has that nice turn of foot you like to see. Ricky has always shown that he has a great eye for a horse and, importantly, he has been patient with Mariachi and not rushed him.
'I think he's the sort of horse that, if he'd been taxed too early, he might have gone to water. I know he's done one or two things wrong in his first couple of races but he'll get over it.'
In his first two starts, Mariachi had wanted to lay out over the final stages and Beadman said Yiu had discussed using blinkers on the horse but elected to wait.
'And that was the right thing to do, I think,' said Beadman. 'You probably want to resort to things like that later rather than sooner. Drawing inside today helped him, because he was more focused making his run up the inside between horses.'
Three Clubs won his second dirt 1,650m on end in the fifth, and Moore said he felt there might be another one left in the gelding in Class Three.
'He's a horse who has just come solid now, he was very fit and it wasn't a strong race so I just wanted Darren to ride him as he had ridden him when he won last start - not giving the leaders too much start,' Moore said.
'He crept around them nicely rounding the turn then Darren was able to give him a little breather at the top of the straight before he really went for him.
'I don't think he's finished, there might be one for him in Class Three with a light weight, maybe even 1,800 metres.'
Beadman said he wanted to ride a percentage race with Three Clubs under the bigger weight yesterday and the effort was probably better than the margin suggested.
'He just loves the dirt surface but I had to make an early run and didn't have as much cover as last time, so he probably did a good job,' he said.
The bad news for the Beadman-Moore combination arrived in the final race, however, when the new Private Purchase for casino tycoon Stanley Ho Hung-sun, Viva Hong Kong, finished last in the final race and pulled up with a heart irregularity.