All's well with Challenge hotpot Whyte

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 November, 2008, 12:00am

Champion jockey Douglas Whyte has been cleared to take his place as a red-hot Jockey Challenge favourite at Sha Tin today after a mishap at the barrier trials yesterday morning.

Whyte has been in the wars somewhat, being stung by hornets before last week's Sha Tin programme and jamming his right knee against the starting stalls before the first of two trials yesterday.

Whyte was unable to take part in either trial afterwards and the club immediately ordered the Durban Demon to visit the doctor to see if he would be fit to line up for a full card of 10 rides today, which will carry the usual heavy public support.

Late yesterday, Whyte was cleared to ride as a 1.65 favourite to take the honours with three strong overnight favourites and a number of other strongly fancied rides.

One of the most interesting promises to be debutant Bold Decision for Sean Woods.

A most impressive six-length trial winner in Adelaide last June, he made a similar impression winning his only trial at Sha Tin, and is unlikely to be the generous double figure odds on offer at 6.30pm yesterday.

The news wasn't so good for arch-rival Brett Prebble, who will take a brief break after today's meeting following his suspension in Melbourne on Tuesday.

An appeal was convened yesterday morning and was dismissed, meaning Prebble will ride today before resuming on November 18.

Meanwhile, trainer David Hall faces a stewards' inquiry on a date yet to be fixed over the positive returned by Namjong Sky after he won at Sha Tin on October 1.

The horse's urine sample had been found positive to omeprazole and its metabolite, hydroxyomeprazole, by the Jockey Club's laboratory, and Hall requested further testing of the B sample by an independent facility in Australia.

The club received written confirmation yesterday from Racing Analytical Services in Melbourne of the positive finding.

Douglas Whyte is once again the clear pick in the market and odds makers have him at: 1.65