What do Tom Cruise, Pat Rafter and David Platt have in common? They are all racing nuts and they have all been in Hong Kong over the past few seasons and none of them has presented a trophy. Cruise was in town last week to promote his new film, Mi:2, and he is well known for liking nothing better than a day at the races. Would it be too much for the marketing department to have contacted his agent and asked if he'd like to go racing, say at Happy Valley, and present the feature event trophy? Pat Rafter, a close friend of Damien Oliver, once spent the whole afternoon at Sha Tin in shorts and with his shirt off sunning himself, while Platt attended the races when England played out here prior to Euro '96. Platt's brother-in-law was travelling head lad to John Gosden when he trained in Newmarket. Tony Millard couldn't be happier that the licensing committee approved his application to retain Weichong Mawing, the latest riding sensation to come out of South Africa, as his stable jockey for next season. 'With so many of the big stables such as Ivan Allan, David Hayes, John Moore and Peter Ho not retaining a jockey I was very worried it could be hard to get a top-class rider when you need one,' explained Millard. 'My owners spend plenty of money on their horses and they want a first-class jockey on board so I'm very happy to get Weichong Mawing. It's great. We've had a lot of success together at home. In fact, he rode my last champion, Private Reserve, when she won all her four starts as a two-year-old.' If Millard was happy, Wendyll Woods was over the moon to hear his retainership with Lawrie Fownes had been ratified for one more season. 'I've missed a month of this season with a neck injury and lost something like 16 meetings through suspension so I was far from certain to get back. The fact that I have been re-licensed shows how fair things are. It is a huge relief and one for which I am absolutely thrilled. We should have a very competitive stable for next season,' said Woods. Right said Fred - Rickaby, that is. He may not mean much to the younger readers but to South Africans and devotees of the British turf the Rickaby name is synonymous with the Thoroughbred. Fred Rickaby was something like 15 times champion trainer in South Africa having been a top young Flat and jumps jockey in England until beaten by weight problems. His book Are Your Horses Trying? is a little gem. The punter's answer to this question is almost certainly no, they are not, while for the trainer and owner the response is yes, very trying. But it is the dedication which provides a taste of the humour to come. Rickaby writes 'To my wife Molly . . . without whose constant interruptions this book would have been finished a long time ago'. What is it with those Hayes brothers, David and Peter? David smashed his knee cap on holiday two summers ago and Peter, his older brother and in charge of the Hayes family's Lindsay Park operation in Adelaide, recently shattered his hip when impersonating Tour de France legend Eddie Merckx racing down an Italian mountain. 'He'll be confined to bed for another month. He's 51, he should know better at his age,' laughed David Hayes. Nothing like a bit of brotherly sympathy. Yesterday's Sha Tin Vase card produced just 28,645 on course at the New Territories venue with a further 8,113 at Happy Valley boosting the total attendance to 36,758. Betting turnover came out at just $1.12 billion showing that the more races there are - there were 11 yesterday including the Yasuda Kinen - doesn't mean that betting turnover will automatically increase. Indeed, too many races can mean less, not more turnover.