Morning-after feeling of punters $3m to the good

Robin Parke

THERE'S a very select group of people in Hongkong today just wondering if it really did happen.

They are the core of dedicated hopefuls who bet the complete outsiders and came away with the money in two major exotic pay-outs yesterday.

The second race produced a $390,697 Tierce, a record for a $10 outlay, while the Double Trio yesterday was worth a whopping $3.1 million, the highest dividend since the early days of the glamorous bet.

Two 99-1 shots combined to ensure the record-breaking Tierce pay-out with popular local rider Jackie C. K. Tse left shaking his head.

Lucky Express was his ride and he won the race by three-parts of a length but there wasn't much joy for the lad's avid supporters.

''I must say I did not give the horse much chance. But worse than that, I bought him in England for the owner although I could not give him much confidence in him today.

''But he has won his race and done it well so I just hope he can do it again,'' said Jackie.

POPULAR British visitor Alan Munro heads for the airport today, en route to America and a ride in the Louisiana Derby.

Like a lot of visitors to these shores, he's going to leave with a lot more luggage than he had on arrival.

As long as he does make it to Kai Tak - we hear it was going to be a whopper of a night last night - he'll be lugging karaoke gear and at least three suitcases of made-to-measure suits and shirts.

We hear it will take a fleet of taxis, or an articulated truck, to get the acquisitive Munro's new possessions to the airport.

Fortunately, he landed a last-day winner with Wind Dancer (5-1). With a bit of luck the winning percentage might pay for the excess baggage. Maybe.

TRAINER Brian Kan Ping-chee's high-priced purchase, Gold Yue Yee, may never race again after suffering a severe wound in yesterday's racing.

That was the sad news from Kan last night. He told us: ''He has come back very badly cut into, so badly that I don't know if he will ever actually race again. It is very bad.

''He is a good horse and I am very upset about it. He cost a lot of money when I bought him in Newmarket last July and I had a lot of plans for him,'' said Kan sadly.

It wasn't a great day for the former champion but he did see griffin Go Go win the first in sparkling style.

And the word is he'll have that stolen car of his back from China later this month. IT wasn't a great day either for Irish champion Mick Kinane who finished out of the money yesterday - and ended up with a sore head.

It happened in the opener when California Gold reared-up high just before the gates opened - and smacked Kinane's head against the barrier cross-member.