Club's special meeting anything but dashing
By LAWRENCE WADEY and ROBIN PARKE
THE Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club yesterday held a specially convened meeting to explain the stipendiary stewards' reading of the run of Dashing, placed third to Carry On Winning in last weekend's Sassoon Challenge Cup.
In response to criticism of the stipendiary stewards performance through the entire season, focusing on their incomplete inquiry into Dashing and a lack of inquiry into the run of Diamond Coast, but also mentioning six other incidents, the Club responded by showing the Dashing race.
Philip Johnston took the press through the race after Major-General Guy Watkins, the Club's chief executive explained their stance but steadfastly refused to field any questions or enter into any debate or discuss the general criticisms of the stipendiary stewards panel.
''A Kangaroo Court'', was the expression used as the press filtered out of the inquiry room.
And not by us, we hasten to add. It was the view of journalists working on an opposition English language paper.
Former champion trainer Brian Kan Ping-chee went beyond this. ''I support you,'' he stressed to the leaner one of us.
GLAD to see that some of our criticisms are heeded by those in authority.
Gotcha bolted loose before the start of the opening griffin event and clearly had no chance of starting.
Unlike the Winning Wave case where it took some eight minutes to withdraw him, Gotcha's withdrawal was effected with much more alacrity.
The significance of this is that punters in the stands or in off-course betting centres may not be aware of the horse bolting loose and could still be backing him in race-to-race doubles.
For this there is no refund, punters' money being arbitrarily placed on to the favourite.
In this case the favourite was Shining Winner and he duly ran second, illustrating another point we've been making and everyone in power has been ignoring - the dreadful iniquity of the substitution rule.
PETER Ho is the latest apprentice to burst on to the scene in what is proving to be a vintage crop of young jockeys. He rode a gem of a race up on the speed on runner-up Smiling in last night's Piaget Gold Cup and clearly is well worth his 10-pound claim.