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Horse racing is much more than an excuse for gambling. It is a love for the beauty, grace and speed of the horse. It can also be an intellectual battle of examining competing facts and trying to formulate the future from results of the past. In some ways it is an investigation, as performed by an eager detective. And in other ways it can be the thrill of a crossword puzzle, with multiple possible responses, but ultimately only one correct answer. It is a thing of beauty as much as it is a matter of commerce. I have been involved with horse racing in both practical and intellectual ways. From time spent as an apprentice jockey, to later the research of bloodlines in the multimillion dollar world of thoroughbred breeding and sales. And for the past seventeen years I have provided speedrating information to the racing industry and public through my company: Speedratings - Leonard Marlborough.

Blazing Speed Wins

April 27th 2015 01:52
Blazing Speed Wins

words & photography by Neil Murray

*Neil Murray is currently on assignment in Hong Kong covering the racing for RacingWrite and Speedratings



The Tony Cruz trained 6yo gelding Blazing Speed, ridden by Neil Callan, took out the HK$20 million Audemars Piquet QEII Cup yesterday at Sha Tin. Blazing Speed went out at the good odds of 15/1 and finished two lengths clear of Japanese entrant Staphanos, just ahead of Australian entrant and race favourite Criterion in third, and last year's winner Designs On Rome in fourth. The minor placegetters could only be decided by photo after a wall of horses crossed the line together behind the winner.


Note: Zac Purton, who was to ride Military Attack as well as a book of other rides had to withdraw when he fell ill with kidney stones and underwent surgery as the racing got underway.



Blazing Speed kicks away at the 100m. Staphanos (2nd) in red cap and Criterion (3rd) in yellow






(above & below) Neil Callan on Blazing Speed heads to the the line 2 lengths clear








Callan triumphant as Blazing Speed crosses the line




Neil Callan celebrates his biggest win
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Moreira's Century

April 23rd 2015 01:28

Moreira's Century

words & photography by Neil Murray

*Neil Murray is currently on assignment in Hong Kong covering the racing for RacingWrite and Speedratings



Hong Kong based Brazilian jockey, Joao "Magic" Moreira last night at Happy Valley added to his already lustrous record when he scored his 100th win for this season in Hong Kong. In doing so he created a record for the shortest time for 100 wins in a Hong Kong season.

Moreira went into last night's Happy Valley meeting with a promising book of rides and every chance of notching up his hundred. The late scratching of his main hope, Goodheart Success in the feature race, the Rugby Union Football Cup, might have slimmed his chances somewhat. However, after unplaced rides in the first two races, Moreira achieved his 100 on the W Y So trained gelding, Win It, the Shek Kip Mei Handicap over 1650 metres. But It was no easy win. Moreira had a desperate struggle with Brett Prebble on second place getter Supreme Essence to just squeeze in by a short head on the line.

Joao Moreira was all smiles after that milestone win quipping: "With Win It, we won it"; but the very next race gave him even more to smile about. This time, success came on the John Size trained gelding, Shadowfaxe, who cruised to the line over three lengths ahead of second placegetter, Joyful The Great. With that double and a third placing Joao Moreira also won the jockey challenge for the meeting. All in all a very successful meeting for the Magic Man. But then again, he is accustomed to success and to breaking records.




Moreira (blue) on Win It and Prebble on Supreme Essence neck and neck to the line



(top & bottom) Win It by a short head on the line





Moreira coming back on Win It 



(above & below) Moreira all smiles in the mounting yard after the win





(above & below) Moreira wins race 4 on Shadowfaxe

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Dual Happy

April 19th 2015 23:03
Dual Happy

words by Leonard Marlborough
photography by Neil Murray


Australian jockey, Damian Lane, brought up his 2nd win in Hong Kong when successful on the Manfred Man trained 29/1 longshot, Dual Happy, in the Paths To Adulthood Handicap over 1800 metres at Sha Tin on Sunday.

It was a satisfying win for Lane who has a close association with trainer Man, and especially so with Dual Happy who he has ridden in both his fast and slow work.



DUAL HAPPY ranging up to the leader, SUPERKING DRAGON (Brett Prebble) at the 100m



Dual Happy surging past Superking Dragon to go on and win by 1.25 lengths



Damian Lane brings DUAL HAPPY back to scale at Sha Tin



*Neil Murray is currently on assignment in Hong Kong covering the racing for RacingWrite and Speedratings

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The Mechanical Horse

April 13th 2015 01:05
The Mechanical Horse

words by Leonard Marlborough

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Bahamas

April 10th 2015 02:42
Bahamas
words by Leonard Marlborough
photography by Neil Murray

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Noble Protector

March 27th 2015 23:19
Noble Protector

words by Leonard Marlborough

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First Meeting at New Pakenham Racecourse

words by Leonard Marlborough
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2015 Kentucky Derby: A Different Technique

words by Leonard Marlborough


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Spillway and Extra Zero

March 17th 2015 05:17
Spillway and Extra Zero

words by Leonard Marlborough


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Brazen Beau and Faultless Joao

March 15th 2015 04:10
Brazen Beau and Faultless Joao

words by Leonard Marlborough


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