Quickie track turns up some lopsided races

Robin Parke

NOW we are not talking - or writing - through our pockets but making an intelligent observation about the state of yesterday's Sha Tin track.

There was not a vestige of doubt that this was a quick track definitely laid out for frontrunners. And if your own fancy had to come from behind, well you were out of business.

There was a distinct bias towards quick horses early and even more to those drawn on the inside.

It was fairly evident early on, but by the time most of us worked it out it was probably too late. The win of Gold Yue Yee in the final event supplied the last, conclusive evidence - if, indeed, that was needed.

Sandmesh has thrown up tracks like this from time to time and it is not, quite frankly, ideal.

If it continues to race like this we are obviously going to have distinctly lopsided races.

Thinking caps can now go on and the men that matter will undoubtedly come up with a solution.

WHEN you are used to riding winners every other day, a wait of nine weeks is an agonisingly long time. Just ask Dean McKeown.

He finally cracked the Hong Kong duck in the third event yesterday with Fortune Duke and there were plenty of genuine good wishes sent his way.

But McKeown has not let the winless streak get him down.

''I know some people may find this hard to believe, but I have definitely been enjoying myself in Hong Kong. I like the place and I certainly want to stay on.

''I just hope that this is going to be the start of some sort of a run. Our horses seem to be running quite well and I want to get a few more winners on the board.'' He's had plenty of knockers, of course, but that is par for the course in success-driven Hong Kong. Suffice to say, he certainly looked the part on Fortune Duke.

AND so the grand old grey, Quicken Away, has come to the end of the road - as far as the racecourse is concerned.

Trainer Patrick Biancone has advised retiring the Irish import and owner Lo Sing-pui would do well to take the advice.

Quicken Away has been a magnificent advertisement for local racing and has carved an indelible niche in racing history here. But it is not an edifying sight to see our equine heroes finish at the tail of the field.

When it comes to that, it is time to retire - and let us all reflect on the great days.

CONGRATULATIONS are very much in order to stipendiary steward Richard and wife Mandy Chew, celebrating the arrival of a daughter - their third child.

Richard was on duty yesterday while Mandy was still abed after her Thursday delivery.

With all three children born in Hong Kong, they will doubtless reflect in later years their interesting life in the territory.

Hopefully, they will be celebrating 25 years of marriage just like another well known racing couple yesterday - Bruce and Lana Hutchison.

Ever the smooth talker, Bruce confided: ''I can't believe it's been that long. It only seems like yesterday.'' We did not get a comment from Lana.