The shift in the Jockey Club's policy position to allow short-term retainers for jockeys may have caused some interest among owners and trainers, but the diverse Hong Kong media is having an absolute feeding frenzy with the topic. Some of the most bizarre theories and predictions have been floated on who might be invited to ride for whom. Consider, for example, the published prospect that the great American jockey Gary Stevens might come to ride as stable jockey for Francis Lui Kin-wai. Now Lui is a fine conditioner and is having a solid season, as demonstrated by his 19 winners and eighth position on the trainers' premiership table. But exactly how he would tempt Stevens to back out of an agreement to be the retained jockey for Andre Fabre - the perennial premier trainer of France and who always has a gaggle of Group One horses in his yard at any one time - remains unclear. One of the Chinese language dailies provided an alternative for Lui, in the shape of champion Olivier Peslier. The Frenchman came off contract in Japan on February 29 but would have to weigh up a Hong Kong offer against the benefits of a return to his native France, where the new flat season will be under way in a few weeks. South African David Ferraris was said to be offering Douglas Whyte the job of stable jockey. To the surprise of absolutely no-one, the 'Durban Demon' said he had not spoken with Ferraris on the subject. Once again, precisely why the world's most successful freelance jockey would want to tie himself down to any single trainer, when he commands the best rides from 75 per cent of Hong Kong stables already, is hard to fathom. Derek Cruz was extensively quoted on his intention to retain Olivier Doleuze for the first three months of next season and, if the arrangement was working, to extend it further. Since their dynamic combination two years ago was the forerunner to Cruz's career-best year the season before last, at least here was a story with some substance behind it and one that is accordingly more likely to come to fruition. Which is more than can be said for the scribe who recommended that the Jockey Club incorporate a guarantee of a minimum riding percentage for Chinese jockeys. The man behind the brainstorm said the initiative 'would be conducive to promoting a healthy competition environment in Hong Kong racing'. The holes in that argument would see Victoria Harbour drained in 30 minutes, and precisely how the guaranteed minimum percentage would better prepare any youngster to meet Whyte, Mosse, Dye and Coetzee on level terms remains unexplained ... and we suspect always will. The last piece that came to our attention suggested trainer Manfred Man Ka-leung was seeking a stable jockey. And good luck to all concerned if that one happens to be right. Meanwhile, there should be no surprise if Tony Cruz puts Felix Coetzee back on retainer as the pairing has been in magical form all season. And, after all, it's only nine months since Cruz had him retained as stable jockey anyway and they've never stopped working together for a minute since. John Size may have to do a similar thing if he wants to keep giving Shane Dye the same volume of rides, because the Club will be seeking to limit the number of rides a Club jockey may accept from a given stable at each meeting. If that limit (mooted to be three or four rides a day) comes in, then under his present arrangement Dye would be ineligible for another three, four or five Size-trained runners compared to the number he rides now.