by Harry Troy
Macau Jockey Club
The Macau Jockey Club’s final meeting for the 2008 – 2009 season has seen Brazilian jockey Manoel Nunes, and Australian trainer Gary Moore claim their third Jockey and Trainer’s championship titles
Nunes who rode a winning double on the day, including one of the day’s feature events the Macau Racehorse Owners Association Bowl on Toy’s Power, rode 112 winners for the season, just 10 shy of his Asian record of 122 wins set in the 2004 – 2005 season.
“I’m very happy to win the championship for the third time.” Nunes said.
“When I set the record we had 95 meetings for the season.”
“This year we’ve only had 71 meetings, so I’m very happy with the result.”
“For the past two seasons I’ve been in Hong Kong and it was a great experience riding against the best jockeys’ in the world.”
“I feel I am even more confident now in my riding as a result of that.”
“I really appreciate all the support from my owners and trainer’s, and the Club for inviting me back to Macau.”
Fellow countryman Luiz Duarte who also rode a winning double at the meeting, finished in second spot with 77 winners.
Australian rider Brent Stanley capped off another big season winning the first and the last of the day, to give him a total of 58 wins, and third place on the jockeys’ table.
C F (Cash) Wong was the leading apprentice with 10 winners.
• Gary Moore’s sole winner for the afternoon was the promising Happy General ridden by Manoel Nunes, to give him 43 winners for the season.
Moore won back to back titles in the 2003 – 2004, and 2004 – 2005 seasons and admitted the going was a lot tougher this year.
“It’s been a bit of a slog but we got there.” Moore said.
“I’ve only got a small team of 25 this season as I culled a lot of my older horses, and have been concentrating on building up my team with younger horses.”
“I owe a lot to John Hutchinson of Scone Bloodstock who has bought a lot of good quality young horses for me.”
“Horses like Viva Pronto who has won seven from nine this season, Happy Gladiator and today’s winner Happy General they are both unbeaten.”
“I’ve had a lot of luck bringing in precocious two year olds who kick off on a rating of 39, and taking them 30 and 40 points higher in the ratings.”
The joint stable of Brian Kan and Tommy Tse shared second spot on trainer’s standings with Australian Peter Leyshan on 37 winners, with Patrick Lee next best on 36.
Allendorf Biggest Money Earner
Geoff Allendorf ended the season as the biggest money earner with $12.8 million in prizemoney.
Allendorf prepared a winning double at the meeting, with the 10 year old Blue Canyon ridden by Brent Stanley, the first of his winners in the Class 5 over 1500 metres.
Visiting jockey Matthew Gatt rounded out Allendorf’s day with a victory aboard Blue Pagan in the Class 3 & 4 Handicap over 1200 metres.
Stanley and Allendorf have been a formidable combination throughout the season combining for 27 victories and 45 minor placings.
Highlight of the season for the combination was Nittan’s Crown’s victory in the Group 1 Macau Gold Cup.
Stable stalwart Let Go added another Group 3 memento the mantelpiece in winning the Spring Trophy, whilst Clubhouse took out the Group 3 Magic Millions Futurity.
Other feature events for the stable included the prestigious Fat Choy Cup and the Fat Choy Bowl over the Chinese New Year period
Reject Impresses on Debut
He will never emulate the deeds of his older half brother, the champion Hong Kong sprinter Sacred Kingdom, but debut runner Honour Man impressed enough on debut to say that he can progress into a handy enough galloper, with a good strong win in the Class 4 & 5 Handicap over 1200 metres.
By another Champion sprinter in Choisir, Honour Man had placed in two barrier trials at Warwick Farm under the name of Postgraduate, when prepared by Kevin Moses prior to coming to Macau.
The gelding’s two trials on the sand in Macau were not flattering, but the four year looked the part when he was quickly into stride under Angus Chan to share the lead with Superb Albert to the corner.
Honour Man found plenty under strong riding from Chan, and although still racing greenly got away over the concluding stages to win easily from Superb Albert (William Lei), with Happy Together Win (Breinell Yamzon) in third.
Starting at a whopping 77/1 Honour Man surprised plenty with his win, but trainer K H Leong admitted after that race that he had offered the mount to several top jockeys’ as he expected the gelding to run a respectable race.
“A few of the top jockeys’ had the offer but turned it down.” Leong said.
“His trials were just so so, but on a different surface.”
“The horse had some leg problems, that’s why he’s here.”
“I’ve had him in the stable a long time and just had to be patient with him.”
“A lot of shin soreness and problems, but he’s going a lot better now.”
“He’s got a good strong body. He’s legs are not great but he’ll win more races.”
Formula One: Hamilton, Button out of Belgian Grand Prix
Reigning champion Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, the current drivers' title leader, both crashed out of the Belgian Grand Prix on the opening lap in Spa Francorchamps yesterday.
Button lost control and spun out after his Brawn GP appeared to be clipped by the Renault of Romain Grosjean, who also spun out.
Hamilton's McLaren Mercedes also received a bump from another car and went off at the same bend.
The multiple pile-up could well have a major effect on the championship, which is being led by Button from his Brawn teammate Rubens Barrichello by 18 points.
This is the first time this season that Button, who started from seventh on the grid, will have failed to pick up any points.
With the safety car coming in after a couple of laps the race was 'restarted' and led by surprise pole sitter Gianfranco Fisichella in a Force India with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen in second.