A horse with more than the usual number of aliases and frequent flier points is Friends' Pride, a Macau winner on January 6, but his strange career path has significance for other horses and Hong Kong owners. As we have mentioned recently, there is probably more traffic than ever before caused by horses leaving Hong Kong and returning to their birthland, or just being tried in another jurisdiction. Horses are shipped back to Australia, to New Zealand, like Kingston Treasure or Just Aqua, or perhaps to the United States, where treatment might be permitted for horses with a problem such as bleeding. Even a high-calibre horse like Daliapour or Lucky Win might be returned whence they came in the hope of returning them to form. Sure, Hong Kong does not suit every animal and it is reasonable that an owner might look to make the best of his investment, wherever that might take the horse. And Friends' Pride is probably the case which begs the question. The same horse was trained by David Hayes last season, when he raced in Hong Kong as Gold Rush and was unable to win in four starts. At his second start, on December 23, 2000, he finished second to Love On Earth at Happy Valley but was relegated to fifth on protest. At his final Hong Kong start, Gold Rush was 1.5 lengths third to Conjuring on February 10 last year in Class Three. Deemed to be a disappointment, Gold Rush then changed hands, was shipped back to Australia and won a maiden at Kyneton on July 23, 2001, under the name Love The Limelight. That was to be his only run Down Under, because he was sold soon after, transported to Macau, renamed and won at his first run for leading trainer Alan M.C. Tam. Which is a long way around to asking why can't horses be sent straight to Macau? It hardly makes sense that Friends' Pride can go from Hong Kong to Macau but only via Australia. I'm just plucking him out - perhaps in his own special circumstances, Friends' Pride would never have gone straight to Macau anyway, but that opportunity does not seem to exist and it would have benefits for Hong Kong racing and its owners. Not the least of them being that owners, who are famous for falling in love with their horses, can still see them race in Macau after taking the option to replace them here. A very high percentage of Macau owners are Hong Kong people, many who also own horses here. Obviously, this won't suit all horses - for instance, Kingston Treasure is running in Group One races in New Zealand so Macau would not have been a viable alternative - but for the horse who is nothing special in Hong Kong but might appreciate the quality drop in Macau, there is still hope left for his owner. Apparently media personality Pamela Pak Wan-kam's former Hong Kong horse, Amiable, was recently transferred to Australia - bound for Macau. Earlier this season, a Macau trainer was offered a good standard Hong Kong horse to train as the owner was planning to replace it with a 105-plus horse. But when the owner discovered there was some bar to moving his original horse to Macau, the 105 replacement did not go through and the horse continues to race here. Clearly there was no winner in that situation. It makes one wonder whether there would be a problem if, say, a Hong Kong owner wanted to buy Macau's Best Brothers, with a 109 international rating, to replace a horse here. Would he be a special case? Whatever the problem, it is hard to see how the blockade of equine commerce between Macau and Hong Kong is doing anyone any good.