Reports fresh in from Manila suggest that things are not going too well for the Metro Manila Turf Club (MMTC). Bearer of the unhappy news was John Fitzgerald, who put in a three-month spell in Hong Kong about 18 months ago as a stipendiary steward. Better known to Hong Kong racing people is the current chief executive of the toiling body, Richard Chew. The Australian-born Chew was a veteran of seven-years standing in Hong Kong as a stipendiary steward before setting sail for pastures new in Manila. He did not join the embryonic MMTC until persuaded by Guy Watkins, former chief executive of the HKJC. Chew had originally been with the Philippine Racing Co, which operates the Santa Ana track in Makati. Fitzgerald said: 'I am afraid things have all been put on hold for 10 months or so and I am simply not sure what is going to happen then. Of course, the whole thing has been desperately hit by the general economic woes in this area.' It's a dodgy one for the popular Chew, who is firmly in the saddle at the MMTC. Alarmist reports suggest that he may next be looking after the cockfighting and jai-alai, which dominate Filipino betting life, along with the horses. As they say, watch this space. There were TV cameras and bright lights for the Seattle Sun press briefing - but none from the Jockey Club, sole supplier of English language programmes here. It may have been felt inappropriate to have them there because of the likelihood of the session becoming steamy - but that's scarcely the point. There is surely an obligation for the Jockey Club to keep its viewers informed of events applicable to its current programmes. Yesterday's initial press conference fell perfectly for the Trackside programme. It is also harder to understand because the Jockey Club at least deserves to be complimented for arranging the meeting - albeit they may well have felt their hands were forced, so fierce was the criticism about the original decisions reached in the Seattle Sun case. There are quite a number of rules and guidelines with the Jockey Club and more than one or two relate to retained riders and what they can ride. Now it would seem that common sense prevailed - and let's have a cheer for that - in the fifth event at Happy Valley yesterday. To the best of my understanding, if a stable has a retained jockey, it cannot use a jockey retained by another trainer on a horse unless his own man sits out that particular race. In an interesting twist to an excellent race, Alan Munro (retained by Alex Wong Siu-tan) partnered the David Oughton-trained bottomweight Plenty Success to victory, beating Fantastic by a neck. Fantastic was ridden by Oughton's retained jockey, Eric Saint-Martin, for John Moore. Of course, Saint-Martin could not ride Plenty Success because he could not do the weight. It appears that at declaration time - very early and with many officials and trainers out of town - a decision was taken to permit Saint-Martin to partner Fantastic. Quite right, too.