Public vote for top jockey tipped to be real winner
THE Hong Kong season may have closed out on Sunday, but the annual Horse of the Year awards on Friday night were noteworthy.
Of particular interest is that Hong Kong engages the public in the voting, with awards for Most Popular Jockey and Most Popular Horse.
The HKJC runs the poll online with an extensive campaign encouraging people to vote.
At the time the award was presented, Zac Purton was four in front in the premiership, but rival Joao Moreira was a clear winner in the Most Popular Jockey category, attracting 53 per cent of the vote. Purton was second with 29 per cent.
Cult hero Pakistan Star was edged for Horse of the Year honours by Beauty Generation, but made a one-act affair of the Most Popular Horse, with a whopping 62 per cent of votes going his way.
It's a concept that should be looked at in Australia in a bid to engage the general public more with the awards.
Certainly, the most popular jockey would be a fascinating category - and a far bigger spread than the two-horse race in Hong Kong!
Meanwhile, trainer Peter Moody has revealed that it was only Black Caviar's immense size that prevented him from testing her over longer distances.
In an interview for Ladbrokes with Roger Oldridge, Moody said he nominated Black Caviar for the Cox Plate as a three-year-old but later feared her body wouldn't have coped with the extra work.
"Would she have run it? We don't know," he said.
"I was never game enough to train her for it. She was 100kg heavier than your Winxs. She had so much more bulk and with that comes issues.
"The work I would have had to put into her to get to a mile plus I thought would have brought about her undoing. If she was a normal sized horse, I probably could have.
"I was smart enough not to. I knew the capabilities of my horse and she went and retired undefeated."
Moody suggested horses are more versatile than punters give them credit for. He said Melbourne Cup winners like Makybe Diva and Americain could easily have been competitive in top sprint races.
"I saw (Americain's) ability to quicken and length of stride. I thought he could win a good seven-furlong sprint. I think Makybe Diva was a better horse and it would have been an interesting exercise."
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