Apprentice C Wong (TRAVEL FIRST) was fined $2,000 for presenting himself to initially weigh out without a girth.
DARING HEART began very awkwardly and lost ground at the start.
YOU HAVE MY WORD began only fairly.
From a wide barrier, CLEAR CHOICE was shifted across behind runners soon after the start.
Approaching the winning post on the first occasion, ENJOY LIFE, which had been ridden along, was awkwardly placed close to the heels of FORMULA GALORE (C Y Ho) which, after initially being clear of ENJOY LIFE to shift in, then steadied to obtain a position behind ASSOCIATION FANS which resulted in ENJOY LIFE being very awkwardly placed close to the heels of FORMULA GALORE. C Y Ho was advised that although he had been initially clear of ENJOY LIFE to commence shifting in, by the time FORMULA GALORE was in a position to cross that horse, the margin between the two horses had decreased. He was reprimanded and advised to ensure that he exercises due care when shifting ground.
Passing the 600 Metres, CLEAR CHOICE was momentarily awkwardly placed between DISTRICT EXPRESS and YOU HAVE MY WORD which shifted in marginally. YOU HAVE MY WORD and DISTRICT EXPRESS then bumped making the turn near the 550 Metres.
Passing the 500 Metres, FLYING QUEST, which was endeavouring to shift to the outside of CHAPARRAL STAR, became unbalanced when awkwardly placed outside that horse which got its head on the side and shifted out. ASSOCIATION FANS, which was racing to the outside of FLYING QUEST, was hampered in consequence.
Passing the 400 Metres, FLYING QUEST was unable to improve when racing tight between CHAPARRAL STAR and DISTRICT EXPRESS which shifted in marginally after coming under pressure.
Passing the 300 Metres, ASSOCIATION FANS was very awkwardly placed close to the heels of DISTRICT EXPRESS which was commencing to give ground as ASSOCIATION FANS was reluctant to shift to the outside of that horse to obtain clear running.
Passing the 100 Metres, YOU HAVE MY WORD shifted in abruptly under pressure.
Over the concluding stages, CLEAR CHOICE raced tight inside FORMULA GALORE which shifted in under pressure.
Following the race, C Murray reported that in the Straight DISTRICT EXPRESS made an abnormal breathing noise. A veterinary inspection of DISTRICT EXPRESS immediately following the race did not show any significant findings, however, the horse was unable to be scoped due to being fractious.
When questioned, G van Niekerk (YOU HAVE MY WORD) stated that after shifting across behind runners in the early stages, YOU HAVE MY WORD was at the tail of the field passing the 1200 Metres when the race was being run at a good tempo. He said after the 1000 Metres the tempo of the race continued to be good and as he did not want YOU HAVE MY WORD to be too far out of its ground, he felt that there may be an opportunity to commence improving his position near the 900 Metres to get closer to the leaders. He said he had also hoped that because the race was being run at a good tempo, it may allow an opportunity for YOU HAVE MY WORD to get some cover further along the Back Straight which would not give YOU HAVE MY WORD so much to do which would be the case if he remained racing at the rear of the field. He said after shifting his horse out near the 900 Metres and commencing to improve around CLEAR CHOICE, that horse was shifted to the outside of TRUE GRIT which resulted in YOU HAVE MY WORD racing very wide and having to be ridden along in an attempt to clear CLEAR CHOICE and obtain a position closer to the rail. He said it was not until near the 600 Metres that he was able to shift in in front of CLEAR CHOICE, however, at this time DISTRICT EXPRESS had been shifted to the outside of TRAVEL FIRST which resulted in YOU HAVE MY WORD having to continue to race in a four wide position without cover. G van Niekerk was advised that, in the opinion of the Stewards, he had erred in attempting to improve his position after the 900 Metres when the race was being run at a good tempo. He was further advised that when CLEAR CHOICE shifted out, it would have been in the best interests of YOU HAVE MY WORD to obtain a trailing position behind that horse rather than pressing forward on a horse that was having its first run this season. He was further advised to ensure that he rides his mounts in such a manner so that they can finish off their races as best as they are able in the circumstances.
When questioned regarding his riding of CLEAR CHOICE after the 1000 Metres, Apprentice H T Mo stated that he had been mindful that in some of the earlier races horses had been able to be successful when improving their position along the Back Straight. He said after the 1000 Metres he was following TRUE GRIT and near the 900 Metres he became aware that YOU HAVE MY WORD was commencing to improve its position around CLEAR CHOICE. He said rather than allow that horse to improve forward of CLEAR CHOICE, he elected to shift CLEAR CHOICE to the outside of TRUE GRIT and improve his position with YOU HAVE MY WORD. He said this resulted in him having to ride the horse along for some distance before he had no alternative other than to allow YOU HAVE MY WORD to cross CLEAR CHOICE near the 600 Metres after which he obtained a trailing position behind that horse. Mr C S Shum, the trainer of CLEAR CHOICE, informed the Stewards that he had instructed Apprentice Mo to shift CLEAR CHOICE across behind runners in the early stages due to the wide barrier. He said at its most recent start when ridden in a forward position, CLEAR CHOICE did not finish off its race and he therefore believed it would be in the best interests of the horse for it to be ridden quietly today. He said he instructed Apprentice Mo to improve his position along the Back Straight in the event that the race was being run at a slow tempo. He added if it was other than a slow tempo he instructed Apprentice Mo to ride CLEAR CHOICE quietly until the 600 Metres at which time to commence to improve his position. Mr Shum was advised that his explanation had been accepted. Apprentice Mo was advised that the Stewards had previously spoken to him for having ridden a horse in a similar manner. He was placed on notice and advised that the Stewards considered his riding of CLEAR CHOICE, particularly given the instructions that he was given, to be of concern and not up to the standard expected of a rider in Hong Kong. He was severely reprimanded and advised that he must, wherever appropriate circumstances permit, ride his mounts to instructions and to be aware of the circumstances of a race when positioning his mounts. Apprentice Mo was also severely reprimanded for the standard of the evidence that he provided during this inquiry.
A veterinary inspection of ENJOY LIFE immediately following the race did not show any significant findings.
A veterinary inspection of ASSOCIATION FANS immediately following the race did not show any significant findings, however, the horse was unable to be scoped due to being fractious.
FLYING QUEST and CHAPARRAL STAR were sent for sampling.