HONG KONG WONTONS, DING DONGS, THEN SOMES AND DIM SUMS

HAPPY WEDNESDAY, BEN SEMMENS AND THAT ADRENALINE RUSH

What few people see are the background stories that add to the HKJC’s Happy Wednesday nights experience where one of these is the friendship singer-songwriter Ben Semmens has developed with many of the boys riding those big horses and executives with the HKJC.

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When Dougie, Zac, Neil, Karis, Ollie, Nash, Joao etc gallop towards the barriers and pass by the backstage area of the Beer Garden where Ben and the band are setting up with the usual all-female cheering squad around them, there are always the smiles and shake of the heads as if to say, “Gawd, wish we were with all of you mad hatters!” And after winning a race, they try to gallop towards that area of the Beer Garden for a friendly fist pump.

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Posted in casper fownes, DOUGLAS WHYTE, GERARD MOSSE, HAPPY WEDNESDAY, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, JOAO MOREIRA, JOHN MOORE, The horse racing industry, www.fasttrack.hk, zac purton | Leave a comment

THE BUFFET ISSUE

ARE JAPANESE RACEHORSES OVER RATED?

Some of the post race commentary following Admire Rakti’s blistering win in last Saturday’s Caulfield Cup has yet again proven how reactionary and knee jerk Australian racing is in their analysis of race track performances, which are out of the ordinary.

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The sheer class and race track performances of Japanese bred and trained racehorses are not in dispute. Their deeds speak loud enough, particularly at home where a very economically viable and elitist industry thrives.

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Unlike many comparable racing jurisdictions which also have as their foundation stone – a high quality and elite breeding industry- Japanese racing is still very protective of its racing industry.

Whilst in recent times, Japanese owners, trainers and their racehorses have reversed their reluctance to travel and compete against the world’s best racehorses in the world’s best Group One races, their industry is still, in today’s globalized world, more than a tad Howard Hughes-type reclusive.

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Posted in Australian horse racing industry, CHRIS WALLER, Gai Waterhouse, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, Racing NSW, The horse racing industry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

HONG KONG WONTONS, DING DONGS, THEN SOMES AND DIM SUMS

ZAC PURTON AND FINE-TUNING THAT ZAC ATTACK

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What many are wondering is what, where and when was the turning point that had Zac Purton go from being a good jockey to a global trotting superstar rider taking all before him whenever the opportunities have presented themselves.

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Before coming to Hong Kong in 2007, Zac Purton was a work in progress- a young jockey with enormous untapped potential, who, said those who claimed to know, someone who had more time for riding the surf than riding horses.

Speak to Purton about this supposed rabid passion to ride the waves- and, apparently with “good mate” Damien Oliver-and he’ll laugh.

“I was never a surfer as I hate being cold, so I’m not sure why this one keeps popping up,” he says in that matter-of-fact voice that one has by now come to expect. It’s all water off a duck’s back to a bloke who is so nonchalant, it might come across as arrogance.

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Posted in Australian horse racing industry, brett prebble, casper fownes, dennis yip, DOUGLAS WHYTE, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, JOHN MOORE, The horse racing industry, zac purton | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

HONG KONG WONTONS, DING DONGS, THEN SOMES AND DIM SUMS

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(www.fasttrack.hk)

THE ZAC ATTACK TURNS ON THE MAGIC: WINS THE CAULFIELD CUP FOR JAPAN!

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The Zac Attack juggernaut continued yesterday when- no, not Gai Waterhouse, not Chris Waller, not Aiden O’Brien, not John Moore, not Darren Weir- but the Tomouki Omada-trained Admire Rakti, again underlying the quality of the horses from Japan, defied carrying topweight to beat off all Australian challengers and ran away with the Group 1 Caulfield Cup- a truly International win that says much about the “spread” of the players involved in the sport today.

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Posted in casper fownes, DOUGLAS WHYTE, HAPPY WEDNESDAY, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, JOAO MOREIRA, The horse racing industry | 1 Comment

JAMES MATHERS RETURNS WITH A- WHOAH- CALCULATOR!

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Firstly I thank RNSW for responding to the call from the industry for information surrounding the issue of monies collected under the Racefields fee scheme.

As I understand, the scheme really falls into two parts: the first part being the $98m collected by RNSW during the time it defended the challenges to the legislation and the second part which relates to the ongoing collection of race fields fees going forward.

In respect of the first part I find some of the statements or inferences totally misleading and indeed questionable.

The commentary infers that $98m has been collected and expended save for a $20m reserve i.e. $78 m actually expended .This is misleading. I ask have all the monies on the list been expended? I ask has the $10m for outside broadcast infrastructure been properly expended and has the $8m for the equine quarantine station been expended.

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Posted in Australian horse racing industry, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, Racing NSW, The horse racing industry | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

THE TINGLING AND CO-MINGLING ISSUE

SHALL WE DANCE? CAN WE CO-MINGLE?

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The folks down there in bleak city have done it again. Yes, it’s very early days when baby steps are being taken, but they’ve trumped NSW in the potentially lucrative arrangement to co-mingle the Victorian Tabcorp pools with Hong Kong, which commenced this week with the Shatin night meeting on Wednesday.

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It’s a familiar theme: Rome burns while Nero fiddles. This time there are two excuses offered up by Emperor Nero The Zero and his merry court of constipated Yes men and women from Druitt Street. Fiddle, fiddle, fiddle…

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The first, again a familiar one, is that Hong Kong is not offering what Emperor Zero believes to be a fair return for co-mingling to Racing NSW.

It’s one of the more hollow and comical reasons considering the pathetically small fields that RNSW offers up to punters at every Saturday and mid-week metropolitan race meeting in Sydney.

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If, as some conspiracy theorists have suggested, it’s all part of a 2014 re-run of the “Munce War” instigated by Racing NSW and its arch adversary- the Hong Kong Jockey Club- to undermine co-mingling, we disagree: If Sydney field sizes remain so pathetically small, it would be a significant DISINCENTIVE for Hong Kong punters to trash their money on the poor quality racing that Sydney coughs up every bloody week.

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Posted in Australian horse racing industry, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, NASH RAWILLER, The horse racing industry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HONG KONG WONTONS, DING DONGS, THEN SOMES AND DIM SUMS

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(www.fasttrack.hk)

NICK COLUMB AND SOME DIVINE INTERVENTION.

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All the talk about Sunday’s meeting has been about the emphatic win of Divine Calling. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a win like that and all credit to the team behind it- Tony Millard for looking after the galloper with kid gloves and having it fit and ready, Zac Purton who made the win look easier than it might have been, and an unsung hero in all of this: Nick Columb, the rather colourful racing personality, journalist, raconteur, the man behind Peter Brocklehurst, and owner of Australia’s most number of Group 1 horses during the Eighties, who led Divine Calling in on Sunday.

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Posted in DOUGLAS WHYTE, HAPPY WEDNESDAY, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, The horse racing industry | 1 Comment

HONG KONG WONTONS, DING DONGS AND THEN SOMES AND DIM SUMS

WE TIPPED THIS WOULD HAPPEN IN HORSE RACING-AND IT HAS: LEGO HORSES IN BRITAIN’S CHAMPIONS DAY PROMO.

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In the promotion and marketing of any sport, it’s all about thinking out of the square, building new partnerships, and giving a new spin on something old. Like, for example, horse racing.

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So when we wrote over a month ago about the incredible comeback in the popularity of LEGO where it’s found a new Cool Factor even with hardcore gamers, and how the timing was Now for horse racing to crawl into bed with the iconic Danish brand- crawling into bed with Danes, in general, is an addictive pastime for some of us- we didn’t think this marriage would happen so quickly. But it has and all credit to Graham Love of Glove Productions for thinking of and approving this wonderfully creative promo for British Champions Day that features everyone from a LEGO Claire Baldwin to a LEGO Frankel.

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Posted in Australian horse racing industry, casper fownes, DOUGLAS WHYTE, Gai Waterhouse, GERARD MOSSE, HAPPY WEDNESDAY, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, JAMES MCDONALD, JOAO MOREIRA, JOHN SIZE, The horse racing industry, Tommy Berry, Tony Cruz, zac purton | 1 Comment

THE REVOLTING PENIS ENVY ISSUE

THOSE REVOLTING NSW COUNTRY CLUBS!

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When James Mathers reported on prominent provincial club CEO – Hawkesbury’s Brian Fletcher- giving his counterpart at Racing NSW- Peter Vlundies- one almighty bake at the Racing NSW Provincial and Country Awards night last Friday in Sydney, we assumed, wrongly, that it would hit the racing pages and columns of our dailies. It didn’t except for a paragraph in Kenny Callander’s Monday column in the Daily Telegraph.

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Funny about that. Then again, why should anyone be surprised? The Sydney racing print media are office bearers of the Vlundies and Racing NSW fan clubs. And the electronic media are terrified to run anything that resembles even a slap on the wrist with a wet lettuce leaf of Racing NSW and its fearless fighter against all things evil in NSW racing. Is it any wonder why racing in NSW keeps finding new lows when it’s ruled by the Fear Factor?

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Posted in Australian horse racing industry, CHRIS WALLER, DOUGLAS WHYTE, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, JOAO MOREIRA, JOHN MESSARA, The horse racing industry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

FANTASTIQUE!

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC AND THE BROWN DIRT COWBOY STRIKE GOLD IN CALIFORNIA-AND WIN A BIG ONE FOR DRUGS-FREE RACING!

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That now-familiar globe trotting team of trainer Michael Chang, jockey Olivier Delouze and dirt specialist Rich Tapestry combined again on the weekend, this time to take out the Group One Santa Anita Sprint Championship on early Monday morning, Hong Kong time, in California, and kept hopes more than alive for a repeat in the Breeder’s Cup Sprint next month at the same course.

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Like a duck takes to water, the very popular Delouze- the French “Brown Dirt Cowboy”- can never ever be ignored when riding in any race on the dirt, a surface on which he holds an incredibly successful record. And what a brilliant achievement for “Captain Fantastic”- Michael Chang, the quiet, unassuming trainer, who almost didn’t receive a visa to attend the race until HKJC Executive Director Of Racing- Bill Nader- intervened and ensured he would be there- and who had learnt part of his trade in Santa Anita.

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Posted in CHRIS WALLER, DOUGLAS WHYTE, HAPPY WEDNESDAY, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, JOAO MOREIRA, The horse racing industry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment