Alexis Badel is about to serve his fourth suspension of the season and has a fifth one waiting for him but the Frenchman won’t be contemplating any changes to his riding as he casts his eye towards the second half of the campaign.

Badel has been hit with five careless riding bans during the first half of the 2021-22 season for a total of 10 meetings on the sidelines, receiving his fourth last Sunday and his fifth at Happy Valley on Wednesday night – the 44th of 88 meetings this season.

He’s also copped HK$180,000 in fines this week alone under a Jockey Club rule that ensured his fourth and fifth suspensions were accompanied by financial hits equivalent to 1.5 days average earnings.

“It’s not ideal but it is what it is. I feel like the last two suspensions have been a bit of negligence, so I should be able to not repeat that scenario,” Badel said.

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“It’s just the way it is – you don’t have to make a big mistake to be in a situation that causes you to be charged with careless riding, so it’s just unfortunate. Things should be all right. I don’t really think about the suspensions, all I can do is move on.”

Despite already missing six meetings this season, Badel is not far off the pace he set in his first full Hong Kong season last term – that campaign netted 58 winners and he has 27 turning for home this time around.

The 32-year-old already has three Group Three wins in his keeping in 2021-22 and will partner Wellington in next weekend’s Group One Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup, while he also has mounts in the Gold Cup (Tourbillon Diamond) and the Classic Cup (Turin Redsun) to look forward to.

“I’m still very happy with how things are going. I have been able to win good races recently and I’m looking forward to doing my best on the big rides I have in the coming meetings,” he said.

Looking elsewhere in the top rungs of the jockeys’ ranks at the halfway mark and Zac Purton has laid down an ominous marker as to which way his form is trending.

He has 65 winners after 44 meetings, which puts him nine behind Joao Moreira but more than halfway to the 125 victories he landed last term despite the fact he missed a month recently after his fall in the Hong Kong Sprint.

Karis Teetan is one jockey whose output had been down so far this campaign – he has 32 winners so far after not slipping below 79 for three seasons – while Matthew Chadwick is on track for his best return in years.

After posting a career-best 57 successes in 2012-13, Chadwick managed 38 victories in 2013-14 but didn’t break 30 again until last season’s 31.

In-form jockey Matthew Chadwick.

With 25 wins beside his name so far this campaign, Chadwick has already surpassed his output in six of the past seven seasons and the confidence with which he’s riding suggests he could push onto the half-century.

Across in the training ranks, John Size sits on 47 winners – exactly halfway to the Hong Kong record of 94 he set in the 2016-17 season.

While Frankie Lor Fu-chuen was atop the trainers’ championship until last week, Size has surged into the lead on the back of a dominant run and anything but one-way traffic from here would be a surprise.

That doesn’t mean Lor doesn’t have plenty to play for. With 43 victories already in his keeping, Lor’s personal best of 65 winners – a mark he has hit in three of his four seasons as a trainer – looks all but sure to tumble.