JOCKEY Club chief executive Lawrence Wong last night warned that local charities would be adversely affected if the Government bumps up betting tax. Wong was speaking at the end of a Sha Tin meeting where, for the second successive raceday, the $1 billion turnover mark was bettered. 'There may be a temptation for the Government to increase the betting duty, particularly at this time. 'In the past when they have done so, the Jockey Club has absorbed it and not passed it on to the public. Likewise, we have also kept up our charitable donations to the same level,' he said. But Wong left little doubt that charities, already hard-pressed as donations fall off during the present economic downturn, would be hit. 'We cannot keep on indefinitely and that is something that the Government should realise,' he stressed. It wasn't a really good day for the English brigade at Sha Tin yesterday, although doughty battler Wendyll Woods did land another handy winner. However, that opening-race success was severely tempered by the knowledge that he had already landed a two-day suspension following a resumed inquiry from Wednesday night. Woods was found to have caused tightening on the first bend and now sits out two good meetings. There was absolutely no joy at all for Brett Doyle, who was in the inquiry room after successive races because of real trouble at the start. First, fancied King Red Wine (6-1) came out of the gates like a bucking bronco and deposited Doyle on the deck seconds after the start of the third event. One race later and topweight Grandstand did not jump out at all with the field - a dubious 'double' that Doyle did not want. The tremendous success being enjoyed by relative newcomers to the training ranks, Peter Ho and Francis K.W. Lui, is not going unnoticed. Lui was confirmed in the position after taking over on a temporary basis following the ICAC swoop in March last year, while Ho was a surprise addition to the ranks at the start of last season. Lui's treble yesterday merely confirmed the wisdom in making the appointment permanent and Ho, with a full stable, is simply a thundering success. With several young assistant trainers waiting in the wings, plus the proven success of Ho and Lui, these are anxious times for several other trainers who have been around for some time. As in other areas of Hong Kong life, there is no longer such a thing as an iron rice bowl. The Jockey Club's marketing department is certainly working overtime in a bid to lure people to the track. Next Sunday sees the first of the season's simulcast events with the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe beamed in during the night meeting at the New Territories course. Up for grabs will be 10 round-trip tickets to Paris in a lucky draw while, between each race on the card, punters will be entertained by French musicians and other performers. A Parisian 'sidewalk cafe' will be set up near the lucky draw stage. Now all that's left to arrange is a double for Patrick Biancone and Eric Legrix. Biancone is on friendly terms with a number of big names in French football and was delighted when his home country won the World Cup. But even the French maestro can't get much out of Valderrama - the horse that is. Valderrama, after a so far totally undistinguished career, moved yesterday to Eddie K. C. Lo. The player's best days are behind him, but it remains to be seen if the horse has even one day in him.