Cauthen keeps HK in the news

Robin Parke

STEVE Cauthen made the headlines in England again last week - talking about Hongkong.

The former British champion jockey returned to Newmarket from Kentucky and expects to be at racing headquarters for about two weeks, tidying up his affairs after more than a decade in the UK.

With all newspapers having written him off and into retirement, Cauthen said simply: ''Only an offer from Hongkong will keep me in the saddle.'' And he means it, too.

Speaking from Kentucky last week, he said: ''I am absolutely serious about it. I will ride in Hongkong next season if the right offer comes along. Other than that, I will be retiring definitely from the saddle.'' With Mick Kinane having guaranteed Hongkong racing a week of sensational publicity all over Europe and Cauthen chipping in, the Royal Hongkong Jockey Club need look no further for PR people.

Now, of course, all it requires is a retainer for Cauthen.

CHIEF Stipendiary Steward Bernard Hargreaves will be absent from the hot seat next week and again next month . . . for rather different reasons.


He's off to Manila and the Asian Racing Conference as part of the RHKJC delegation which could be a pleasant enough way of spending a few days, particularly as all he will miss is an equitrack meeting.

But in mid-March, Hargreaves checks into hospital for an operation to alleviate a sinus complaint and may miss three meetings.

''It's been around for a year or so and the doctor has advised getting it done now,'' said Hargreaves.

Taking over at the top of the racing judiciary will be Irishman Philip Lafarge, now in the closing stages of his Hongkong secondment.


AT the request of the Royal Western India Turf Club, two Indian apprentices start a working visit to Hongkong tomorrow.

The two lads are Heeleal Raymond Moses and Noormohamad Merchant.


The two will initially ride trackwork and, if the Licensing Committee are satisfied, they will be permitted to ride in races towards the end of their stay. The experiment worked particularly well with Irish boys Wayne Smith and Micky Fenton.

Moses will be attached to the stable of Bruce Hutchson while Merchant will be with Kenny Kam.

Moses, who has ridden 46 winners from 250 rides, can look forward to a few feasts. His new Hongkong mentor is a dab hand at rustling up a curry or two. DON'T you just absolutely hate electronic banking systems which cut off when you are desperate for a quid. It's a sad scenario . . . no money, tickets written out, machine doesn't work, can't find a mate for a loan . . .


Then, of course, the right ones come in at odds of 55-1. Have a good day!