RACING’S COOL FACTOR

Let’s face it, horse racing doesn’t exactly have The Cool Factor attached to the sport.

While even “boring old cricket” attracts much of UK’s Rock royalty to matches like the current Test series between England and Australia, celebrities at a racetrack are few and far between. The Queen doesn’t count.

RACING'S COOL FACTOR 1
(Source: CBC)

Having said this, it’s now 2013, the sport needs to attract a new generation of race-goers for its future whereas those involved in racing are younger, they are also consumers and have a very different outlook to life than their predecessors- no matter how legendary they might be.

RACING'S COOL FACTOR 2
(Source: Guardian)

Few racing clubs get this: That jockeys, trainers, racing media personalities are younger. And like, for example, musicians who have been inspired and learnt from past masters, they are a very different group of individuals.

They go clubbing, they listen to music, they are into fashion and that Cool Factor once missing is growing from within, and because of this, attracting a bigger and younger consumer base.

It’s pure and simple evolvement and another example of Darwin’s Theory taking place, this time in racing.

RACING'S COOL FACTOR 3
(Source: Live Science)

Cricket, for instance, has a new pinup boy in Ashton Agar, the 19-year-old who made his Test debut last week and scored a brilliant 98 for Australia after coming in to bat as last man.

RACING'S COOL FACTOR 4
(Source: Daily Telegraph)

Of course, every sport has its pinup boys and girls and so we’ve been asking racing fans who they believe has that star quality on turf.

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(Source: Theatreoyalwindsor)

To the hard-arsed punter it’s anyone who wins on whatever they’ve backed, but to those younger racing fans who wager a few bucks and think $100 is rocking the casbah, well, to them, there are jockeys somewhat more easy on the eye than a number of them we can think of- very good jockeys, but hardly oil paintings.

So, who are these young riders blessed with star quality?

Well, from Europe, say our findings, is the young Italian rider Umberto Rispoli, the baby-faced assassin, who made many young- and more mature- females squeal with delight when he rode in Hong Kong- and that was when he didn’t even ride a winner.

RACING'S COOL FACTOR 6
(Source: The Age)

There are then those French garçons Mikhael Barzalona, Maxime Guyon and Christophe Soumillon, each with that Gaelic je ne sais quoi and savoire faire.

RACING'S COOL FACTOR 7
(Source: Guardian)

RACING'S COOL FACTOR 8
(Source: Sulekha)

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(Source: Guardian)

Non, Gerard Mosse didn’t make the grade though The Parrot certainly has massive pulling power when it comes to cherchez la femme. Amongst the “oldsters” Frankie Dettori and Kieren Fallon are still high up there.

Frankie Dettori
(Source: Guardian)

When it comes to personality, Dettori is in a class of his own whereas Fallon remains a badass- and every sport needs a lovable rogue- and badass.

If only we can get Fallon and Ray Murrihy into the ring together. Theirs is a relationship that will remain volatile- at least as far as Badass Kieren Fallon is concerned.

RACING'S COOL FACTOR 11
(Source: Telegraph)

Meanwhile, we can only guess that after his two so-called (yawn) “plunge” wins at Ballina yesterday, our mate- the always young Neil Paine, who still looks like Davey Jones, once a jumps jockey in the UK, from the Monkees- must be a pinup boy to many. At least until Sunday.

RACING'S COOL FACTOR 12

RACING'S COOL FACTOR 13
(Source: Phoenix Newtimes)

Getting back to the hot subject of The Cool Factor, in Oz, those who made our poll are the identical Berry twins- Tommy and Nathan- who have proven that the saying, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, is a loada bollocks.

These two young guns wouldn’t have been outta place in Take That as slimmer versions of Gary Barlow.

RACING'S COOL FACTOR 14
(Source: SMH)

ivor novello 230508
(Source: The Richest)

Also appealing to many young fillies is Adam Hyeronimus, the talented young Sydney-based jockey who does most of his riding for Lady GaiGai Waterhouse, the first lady of Australian racing. He just needs a new wardrobe.

RACING'S COOL FACTOR 16

For the men amongst us, of course, the gorgeous Francesa Cumani featured way up the totem pole. And with those striking Italian ‘looks’, style, knowledge of racing seen to good advantage on CNN’s Winning Post program plus down-to-earth charm, it’s really no surprise.

She makes racing very easy to understand, very easy on the eye and makes even the hardened punter say, Who won? Who cares? I just met Francesca Cumani.

Hollywood has Jennifer Garner. Racing has Francesca Cumani.

RACING'S COOL FACTOR 17
(Source: HKJC)

RACING'S COOL FACTOR 18
(Source: People)

There’s then JoJo McKinnon and, we keep hearing about the Schmidt sisters in Cassandra and Priscilla, two very good young jockeys who many say have real pinup appeal.

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RACING'S COOL FACTOR 20
(Source: APN Online)

Personalities aside, the HKJC’s Happy Wednesday Nights which bring together racing, people new to the sport, music, fashion, venues, social media and, with the latter, inter-activity, shows one racing club with some consistent New Thinking.

How the Happy Wednesday brand will evolve makes it as interesting to follow as some on Twitter and Facebook “likes.”

In Perth, the online world’s Racing Radio and program The Big Breakfast shows a welcomed break with tradition- and boredom.

RACING'S COOL FACTOR 21
(Source: RWWA)

Yes, it has all the racing news, coverage and usual suspects, but in-between these days is music by the Killers, Prince, Sarah Blasko and artists way out of Left Field.

Also follow a magazine out of Sweden called Gallop.

RACING'S COOL FACTOR 22
(Source: Off The Pace)

This beautifully laid out publication with its magnificent photography captures the world of racing, the beauty of horses and features on some very cool and unique products inspired by the sport like the line of KROOP eyewear.

Douglas Whyte wearing KROOP? Yes, we can see that.

There is also our own Fast Track website- a new way of looking at racing from the Racingbitch Mothership and which brings the sport into the bigger arena of entertainment and not another Me-too betting site.

RACING'S COOL FACTOR 23
(Source: Tumblr)

Where are we heading? What’s next? Merchandizing? New programing and content? New business partners? Themed restaurants? China?

Most likely all of the above and more plus writing and producing a Dance track by HKJC Racing Specialist and Pinup Girl Sarika Choy.

RACING'S COOL FACTOR 24

This entry was posted in Australian horse racing industry, casper fownes, CRAIG WILLIAMS, dennis yip, DOUGLAS WHYTE, FRANKIE DETTORI, GERARD MOSSE, HAPPY WEDNESDAY, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, JO JO MCKINNON, The horse racing industry, Tommy Berry, www.fasttrack.hk and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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