BITCHES AND PIECES

eleven 2

MR SMITH RETURNS TO RACING.

Around ten years ago, British bloodstock agent and bon vivant Andy Smith was on top of the world and making money hand-over-fist, thanks to his biggest client at the time in horse owner George Tanaka.

We’d meet Andy regularly at his local near Carlton Towers in the ritzy Cadogan Avenue area of London where there would always be an eclectic group of individuals- Lennox Lewis, Frankie Dettori, Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood etc before heading over to the upmarket gentleman’s club Aspinall’s.

Then, when George Tanaka was hauled off a plane in the US and jailed for tax fraud, the newly-married- to a young stunner from Turkey- Andy Smith went poof and disappeared with many of his clients left high and dry with various horsey problems. Emails went unanswered, phone calls landed on deaf ears. It was like a Hitchcock mystery.

eleven 3

Now, he’s back- bigger than ever- financially and physically- and with the lifetime breeding rights to the American-bred Declaration Of War, below, which will keep him in the lifestyle to which he is accustomed forever and with several local horse owners now on his books along with a few long-time trainer mates from his halcyon days in the UK waiting to meet up with when supposedly hits these shores next month.

eleven 4

———————————————–

EARTHQUAKES SHAKES UP RELAXED RACING AT CAULFIELD!

eleven 5

We made a flying visit to Caulfield for Oakleigh Plate Day as guests of a group of owners and, from a positive point of view, we have nothing but praise for the winning rides by Damien Oliver, Chad Schofield, Craig Newitt on the much-improved Lankan Rupee, and Damien Browne- especially the latter and his winning ride on the brilliant Earthquake. Here’s a jockey going International.

Caulfield Races

eleven 7

That win well and truly stuck a pacifier up the arses of those groveling racing pundits who kept chanting Rubick, Rubick, Rubick for weeks.

They have made right cubes of themselves and one can really sense many losing their credibility.

After all, like many racing executives we know, What do these people actually DO???

eleven 8

As for the crowds in the Public area? So Relaxed about racing, many never showed up- shame as it was a great day’s racing, but the experience? Myeh- whereas in the Members area, we listened to the usual lament about just how poor a turnout there was and the financial ruin facing racing in Oz while the Neros fiddle and remain in denial- and we don’t mean the river in Egypt.

eleven 9

As for this Relaxed Racing brainwave- no doubt created by gremlins during a heatwave and with the sun playing tricks on one’s brain- this has all the signs of being a very expensive and daft marketing campaign with no ROI or USP in place and, perhaps workable for Boo Boo and Yogi Bear at a pic-a-nic meeting, but totally outta whack with a major race meeting like the one yesterday where people- young and old- WANT to get dressed up as it’s one of the few occasions where they CAN.

eleven 10

The radio spots built around chanting Om- an insult to one’s intelligence- and damage control lines like “Enjoy Relaxed Relaxing with an adrenaline rush”- Valium and Red Bull???- and suddenly using Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood- which should have been used right from the start so no one takes this, well, THING, seriously- shows a marketing disaster as big as what befell the Titanic and Hindenburg, combined.

eleven 11

What to see CLEVER, competitive advertising? Click here. It’s not racing, but use some imagination.

As for the Relaxed Racing Ambassadors, PUHLEEEZE.

Knowing some of them pretty well, the choices are making our heads spin faster than Linda Blair’s did in The Exorcist- and making us just as scary.

But, hey, maybe it works in Melbourne- though we hear not from the older Wu Tang Clan whereas the newbies to racing we know have never heard of Relaxed Racing and have no interest in finding out what it might be.

eleven 12

They’re on the go all the time- and enjoying it- to get laid back at a race track on a Saturday afternoon when there’s the night ahead.

eleven 13

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IN KEVIN MOSES AND THE THREE AMIGOS WE “THRUST.”

eleven 14

While our old mate Kevin Moses has parted the Red Seas and bought himself a bar in, er, Shanghai which we have pencilled in to visit, we understand that The Three Amigos, the stars of the television reality series Keeping Up With Racing To Win, have sold their interests in Singapore-based galloper Thrust (?) following a Class 5 win in the Lion City.

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The horse is, apparently, being moved by new owners to “greener pastures” in Malaysia.

Malaysia? Greener Pastures?

eleven 16

We’re willing to bet that if this move happens, there will be Thrust issues soon taking place in Western Australia where the Malaysian influence on racing is far greater than many realize- or wish to admit.

There was one race at Ascot yesterday which should be studied by newbie punters to see how to plan a complete “boat race” and make mugs of tipsters and form students through a dawdling pace and some horribly suss rides.

The result of the race was tipped to some from Singapore- on Friday afternoon- and from Macau via Malaysia on race day morning.

Richard Burt has a problem on his hands- and it’s been around WA racing for almost two decades.

Then again, look at the fun and games going on in Sydney these days and with no one saying ticky boo about them.

eleven 17

———————————————–

THANKS FOR ALL THOSE YEARS OF THE CAT, FELIX COETZEE!

eleven 18

Felix Coetzee, one of the greatest jockeys Hong Kong has had the good fortune to see in action and the type of truly top bloke one meets once or twice in a lifetime, officially retired last week.

eleven 19

Having started out as stable jockey for the controversial Brian Kan ping-chee when he took over from another racing legend- Brent Thomson- “The Cat” as he was known, really came into his own for his association with the Hong Kong champion sprinter Silent Witness and his partnership with trainer Tony Cruz and owners Archie and Betty Da Silva.

His strength in a finish and his judge of pace was something we had not seen before- ever.

eleven 20

What we still don’t understand are why these two legged legends of the turf are not utilized much more as presenters on television programming instead of the dullards that are hired to be vapid talking heads with selective memory recall.

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Also why- and we have mentioned this before- a forward-thinking racing club like the HKJC don’t have even ONE race day where a Legends Of The Turf Cup Race is the highlight of a meeting and with every other race named after such legends as Felix Coetzee, Darren Beadman, Michael Kinane, Basil Marcus, Bart Leisher, Gary Stevens, all of whom have ridden here at one time or another?

Surely, there is far more relevance to this idea than races being named after Hong Kong’s beaches, streets and local electrical appliances including fridges and vibrators?

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Imagine seeing their greatest wins on the DiamondVision screen! Imagine having them all present for this race meeting! Imagine the sponsorship and media appeal!

Now, stop imagining and make it happen, baby!

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Legends like these should never be allowed to just fade away into the distant past and forgotten like yesterday’s news.

RACING CARES should be a far more pertinent and human theme that should be made mandatory amongst all racing clubs instead of much of the wooly bully stuff we see- and where punters money is used to turn this goofiness into irrelevant reality.

eleven 27

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THE TWATS AND STRAIGHT BATS ON TWITTER.

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Most of the rants about racing on twitter are the twitterings of trolls, fawning groupies, bogans, and many who DESPERATELY wish to be seen as vital to the future of, especially, racing in Oz- and which is rapidly heading towards oblivion.

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To them we say, get out more often, look after your own backyard and see how the rest of the world lives before making absolute knobs of yourselves and making horse racing look like a sport only followed by one-dimensional intellectual midgets.

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Having said this, there’s the far more interesting band of racing’s version of the Twitter Police who do a better job than most Stewards and the stunted racing media lacking balls and one iota of creativity other than what they copy and call their own.

This Twitter Police- The Gailays, the Dirty Cowboys etc- are those who can easily spot and shame the jockeys by naming bad rides, taking well-aimed shots at racing’s sacred cows- even those in Hong Kong- and questioning the decisions of untouchable trainers and their owners.

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No one is spared- and rightfully so- with strong arguments to back their charges and not daft rants lacking any real knowledge other than what can often be a stupid and dangerous outlet which has seen racism, hate, bullying and cowardice at the fore on Facebook and YouTube.

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The day when this equivalent of racing’s “underground scene” becomes mainstream and a real global game changer with enormous clout as it communicates directly with the public is right around the corner.

And gawd knows, horse racing needs some serious changes if it’s ever gonna compete for audience share with other sports and bring in new sponsors who can change the way the sport is still perceived by 99.9% of human beings: Irrelevant.

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When this happens- and it will, sooner rather than later- and even as independent online consumer-generated programming beholden to no one- many in racing clubs will be held accountable for simply not being good enough and with no more asking of some racing executives, “How the fuck did he get that gig?” and the usual, “What does he actually DO???”

The Truth will finally be out there.

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Posted in Australian horse racing industry, brett prebble, FELIX COETZEE, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, The horse racing industry | 1 Comment

CANTERBURY, DICKHEADS AND THINKING SMALL

FATE OF CANTERBURY: SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED LIKE A STEVIE WONDER SONG?

CANTERBURY 1

It was only a matter of time for the sale of Canterbury Racecourse to be put on the table- officially- and so it proved with the submission by the ATC to the Review of NSW thoroughbred legislation, sections of which have been cited and reported on by Fairfax Media’s Chris “The Rooter” Roots.

CANTERBURY 2

According to “The Rooter”, the ATC has signalled its intention in its 36 page submission in the Section titled “Disposal of Canterbury Park Racecourse and Rosehill Gardens Racecourse racing Infrastructure”.

CANTERBURY 3

Roots reports that under Section 23 of the ATC/STC Merger Act, the sale or disposal of Racecourses is prohibited for 10 years”. And with three of the 10 year prohibition period now passed, the ATC is clearly gearing up to put the “for sale” sign up at Canterbury so that the whole sale process can be expedited when D-day arrives.

CANTERBURY 4

So much for all the smoke and mirrors, the denials and faux outrage that has been the predictable response from the powerbrokers of the NSW racing industry whenever the sale of Canterbury got a run in the NSW racing media. But as with most things in sport and politics- and more so in racing- the more the denials, the outrage and, especially, the faux outrage, the more it can be assumed that a raw nerve has been exposed – that all footprints lead eventually to the elephant in the room.

CANTERBURY 5

“The Rooter” quotes from the report: “ATC Directors should be in full control over the real property assets of the race club in order to exercise their directors’ duties to deal with assets in the best interests of the company as required by the Company’s Act”.

Clearly Canterbury is doomed as a racetrack and Metropolitan Sydney will only have two racetracks – Randwick and Rosehill.

Warwick Farm will be Sydney’s premier training centre with Rosehill continuing its current back-up role. Randwick will remain a training centre for as long as Gai Waterhouse has a training licence- and for as long as the ATC finds it impossible to fight off the developers for the land that houses the Randwick trainers.

CANTERBURY 6

Change in Sydney racing is inevitable. Most of the- oh, fuck, no- “50,000 participants” see it that way. But what gets right up the skirts of many in NSW racing is the duplicity of the administrators who continually treat their constituency with contempt, a litany of lies and deliberate “spin” to divert attention and soften up the racing industry for the inevitable dose of bad news which precedes such announcements.

CANTERBURY 7

Racing administrators, like their decision makers in the commercial world, work to an agenda and timetable- and decisions are made well in advance. The timing often is the only moving target. But, as with most things, karma will eventually come knocking, and, call it payback or redemption, it will happen.

CANTERBURY 8

And so it is with Canterbury racecourse. The reality is that the ATC and Racing NSW- not unlike their counterparts in other States- desperately need to sell their precious family jewels to keep the industry afloat. It is a scenario that is played out regularly in the commercial world – and Lord help us- with Federal and State Governments, irrespective of their political persuasion.

Indiscriminate spending, a lack of accountability and prudent financial management are common culprits in the demise of many businesses and Federal and State Governments.

Racing has never been immune to these problems, but racing has escaped many of the financial trials and tribulations that other sports and businesses have been confronted with because its funding and financial security has never been an issue. Not until now.

Through unacceptable negligence and appalling governance and management, racing’s day of reckoning is imminent.

CANTERBURY 9

The sale of Canterbury- sans all the spin, lies and duplicitous bollocks- WILL happen.

It must if NSW racing is to be saved from insolvency, in the short term.

In the long term? Who knows?

CANTERBURY 10

WILL DARLEY HELP CHANGE O’SHEA’S MELBOURNE CURSE?

CANTERBURY 11

Gotta’ feel for our old china plate John “you’re all a bunch of fuckwits” O’Shea. It’s like someone up there hasn’t told the feng shui man to visit your stable, Johnno and change your luck or lack of it in Melbourne.

CANTERBURY 12

Take last Saturday in bleak city. Bernabeu, your well fancied runner in the Newmarket, had, apparently, been working the place down and was expected to be in the finish of Melbourne’s Group One Lightning Stakes.

He went like Usain Bolt would early and appeared to be travelling very well- but for some unknown reason, turned it up and finished way down the track. Disappointing to say the least. At least Snitzerland kept the flag flying for the Harbour City.

It’s a real conundrum. Johnno, rarely if ever, sends a horse down south unless it can win a race or be highly competitive.

Whenever we’ve been down in bleak city, his horses are turned out in great condition, and they are, generally, in peak form or very close to it. And he has trained some very good horses.

Most certainly, when he takes over the prize Darley team in May, the Melbourne hoodoo will be buried. We can only hope.

But please Johnno, keep a lid on your temper as it’s better to walk away and cool down rather than give the old pint sized midgets a group One spray in the mounting yard. Get the drift?

CANTERBURY 13

SYDNEY FIELD SIZES: A DRAIN ON INDUSTRY REVENUE.

CANTERBURY 14

It’s been said over and over again, and yet, the problem with unacceptably low field sizes at Sydney Saturday metropolitan race meetings continue like an incurable disease.

CANTERBURY 15

Take last Saturday’s Rosehill race meeting where five of the eight races had field sizes of less than eight starters – a total disaster for wagering.

CANTERBURY 16

Field sizes of less than eight starters completely decimates place betting and multiples betting.

Smaller pools and reduced dividends combined with the outrageously high take out rates by Tabcorp provide a very potent disincentive for punters- small, medium and large- to wager on all the exotics and the place, which pays two instead of the three dividends when there are eight or more starters in a race.

CANTERBURY 17

The reasons for the small field sizes are many and varied, but are a lethal combination in the continuing downward trend in wagering growth and, ultimately, the exodus of the wagering dollar to other sports.

CANTERBURY 18

The buck for the small fields has to stop with Racing NSW.

For many NSW trainers, the recurring finger pointing at the ratings and handicapping system and programming, has resulted in little more than band aid solutions.

The angst and tension between trainers and their governing body over these problems has not diminished. The promised prize money fix has failed miserably to address the problem.

CANTERBURY 19

Last Saturday alone, Group races with unjustifiably high levels of prize money yet again failed to attract field sizes which such stakes races should.

Clearly, the frustration levels of Sydney trainers contrasts markedly with their Melbourne counterparts, where, from what we can gather, the Chief Handicapper and Programme Director Greg Carpenter, is very hands-on and proactive in identifying problems and deficiencies and resolving them.

Perhaps Racing NSW could get off their high horse and ask Racing Victoria to give them a hand in fixing this very fixable problem which is cannibalizing wagering revenue in NSW?

CANTERBURY 20

ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIER.

CANTERBURY 21

We’d like to pose a question, inconvenient as it might be, for our sparring partner and weather man, Christian “Dickhead” Nicolussi and some of his media mates in Sydney.

CANTERBURY 22

Guys, don’t you think it’s important to get things right in our own backyard – NSW racing- before we start lecturing and hectoring the industry across the border in that place known as Bleak City?

As influential members of the fourth, fifth and for that matter any numerical bloody estate, should you not, for example, devote your, er, column inches and television editorial and commentary on issues such as the woeful shrinking field sizes and their impact wagering revenue, the lifeblood of racing in our State?

CANTERBURY 23

Shouldn’t you be putting the blow torch to the belly of those responsible for the state of near financial destitution that NSW racing finds itself in?

C’mon guys, you can do it. Be brave, be strong, grow some balls ‘cos NSW racing needs you guys to stand up and be counted instead of making pitiful mewing sounds like some pussies in heat.

CANTERBURY 24

ANOTHER CRUZ MAKES HIS MARK ON RACING.

CANTERBURY 25

We would like to report that Penelope Cruz has taken out her trainers licence, but regrettably we can’t. But we can report that Trevor Cruz, son of the highly successful Derek in Hong Kong, and nephew of Hong Kong legendary jockey and trainer and our very good mate Tony, has not only taken out a trainers license in the land of the long white cloud- New Zealand- but he has hit the ground running.

From just five starters so far this season, Trevor has trained two winners and three place getters, and this weekend, has his first runner in a Group One race – the former Hong Kong galloper Packing Tycoon, in the Group One WFA Classic over 1600 metres at Otaki.

CANTERBURY 26

Packing Tycoon, a last start winner at Te Rapa over 1400 metres, was a high class Irish bred racehorse who failed to acclimatize in Hong Kong when trained by Tony Cruz and had several health issues, resulting in him being retired and sent over to New Zealand, where, as is often the case, he has found a new lease of life for racing in the clean and lush green environment.

He is still owned by his HK owner Edmond Lee man-bun- well known in HK racing circles for his team of successful racehorses- bearing the “Packing” prefix.

Trevor Cruz is being strongly supported by Hong Kong owners and is training ten older horses as well as twelve two year olds, many of whom are eventually bound for Hong Kong.

Among his older team is another former HK galloper New Greenfield.

We wish Trevor Cruz the best of luck in keeping the famous, well respected and highly successful family name flying in racing- and one which we just might see in Hong Kong one day.

Posted in Australian horse racing industry, Horse Racing | 5 Comments

HOW MANY NEWBIES REALLY UNDERSTAND HORSE RACING- OR WANT TO?

Trying to have the casual and new race-goer understand the various racing terms is tough going- though probably not as tough as us trying to understand what the hell the ding dong 1010 Million Challenge is all about.

NEWBIES 1

NEWBIES 2

As we have said before, many don’t even have any idea what a totalizator is, let alone being able to read it, and no amount of racing apps and talking head racing programs can make those who are simply uninterested in learning all these terms, get them to be, well, interested.

DING DONGS 28a

Somewhere, somehow, it’s still all too “hard basket”, hardcore- and being communicated to this consumer group by many from another era- an era that has been long dead and which left the building with Elvis and his cheeseburgers.

NEWBIES 3

Below are some very real answers by a group of newbies to racing when asked what some of the more frequently mentioned racing terms mean.

STIPENDIARY STEWARDS

Are they the gay guys who swish around the aisles on a flight, purse their lips, serve cashews, and ask, “Coffee, tea or meeeee?”

NEWBIES 4

Or are they like Stewards on cruise ships like The Love Boat who book Jack Jones to sing the theme song for the television series?

NEWBIES 5

BARRIERS

NEWBIES 6

Aren’t barriers where one can’t get through? So, if horses have barriers, how do they break through? And what are the differences between barriers? Does barrier one help the horse to escape faster? Why are they not called gates? But even that’s confusing.

Eskimo Queen is caught up under the barrier at the start of the Caulfield Cup.

ENQUIRY

Is this some place you can call if you have any enquiries? Like can I call and enquire about where a jockey bought their blouse?

NEWBIES 8

Or is an enquiry like an inquisition- like the Spanish Inquisition where jockeys are interrogated and then court marshaled?

NEWBIES 9

JOCKEYS

NEWBIES 10

The brand of underwear Dad wears like his Walnuts brand or a DJ like Fatboy Slim.

NEWBIES 11

NEWBIES 12

TRAINERS

NEWBIES 13

Adidas, Nike, Puma or Reebok?

Jockeys who ride horses wear trainers?

NEWBIES 14

BANKERS AND LEGS

Wall Street? The Wolf Of Wall Street?

A banker doing a runner after another financial crisis.

Douglas Whyte is a banker?

Which bank is he with?

NEWBIES 15

GRIFFIN

NEWBIES 16

griffin

Griffin Dunne, the Actor.

Hasn’t made a movie in ages.

NEWBIES 18

GELDING

NEWBIES 19

NEWBIES 20

Of course, as the experienced racing fan knows, trainers- not running shoes, but those who train horses who are NOT fitness trainers- use various equipment to have horses focus on racing- blinkers, winkers etc.

But try explaining these terms to those new to racing and here’s what we got…

BLINKERS

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NEWBIES 22

People afflicted by Rapid Eye Movement? Or is it the name of one of Santa’s reindeer?

NEWBIES 23

WINKERS

NEWBIES 24

Those afflicted by nervous tics.

Could also be a shortened version for winkelpickers- those pointy shoes Rockers once wore to kick the shit outta Mods.

NEWBIES 25

NEWBIES 26

CHEEK PIECES

Some great piece of ass.

J-Lo has GREAT cheek pieces.

NEWBIES 27

VISORS

NEWBIES 28

It should be spelt VISITORS.

Or is it a type of scissors?

NEWBIES 29

HOOD

NEWBIES 30

A gangster, usually of the colored persuasion who wears a hoodie, carries a piece, listens to Rap music and hangs out with other bros from da hood.

NEWBIES 31

MUDLARK

NEWBIES 32

NEWBIES 33

A type of bird related to skylarks.

NEWBIES 34

SPRINTER

NEWBIES 35

NEWBIES 36

Usain Bolt

NEWBIES 37

MUGS GAME

Like the Shell Game- but you play it with mugs.

NEWBIES 38

Posted in DOUGLAS WHYTE, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing | 1 Comment

HONG KONG JOCKEY CLUB, FAST TRACK AND UNIVERSAL MUSIC BRING ENTERTAINMENT AND RACING TOGETHER

RACING TOGETHER 1

RACING TOGETHER 2

RACING TOGETHER 3

The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) and its media partner Fast Track have formed a new partnership with Universal Music to bring the world of entertainment to the race tracks and venues of the HKJC, the world’s most successful racing club and one of the most significant businesses and philanthropic organisations in Hong Kong.

The partnership brings horse racing, the HKJC and entertainment together in a new mix of venues and platforms for music.

The partnership started a few months ago when Universal Music released the download of “Giddy Up”, the theme song for the Club’s successful Happy Wednesday brand which caters mainly to the casual race-goer and the new generation of racing fans.

RACING TOGETHER 4

RACING TOGETHER 5

Written by Hans Ebert, Chairman and CEO of Fast Track and Advisor to the HKJC, and Welsh singer-songwriter Ben Semmens, “Giddy Up” was the first number one single from any racing club in the world having topped the Hong Kong iTunes Chart.

George Ash, President of Universal Music Asia Pacific, says: “We are very pleased to be working alongside the Hong Kong Jockey Club and Fast Track in this new partnership. We’ve known Hans since his days with Universal Music and he understands how the HKJC operates and how horse racing and music can work together with various sponsors to reach the next generation of racing fans.”

Says Ebert: “With venues like The Beer Garden, Adrenaline and the Happy Wednesday brand at Happy Valley Racecourse, we have already made inroads into bringing in the casual and new race-goer. These are still initial steps when one realizes what more we can do to create a holistic entertainment experience combining current and new sponsors with the ready-made platforms at the HKJC venues. With the clout of Universal Music and its fantastic artists we see some very exciting times ahead. Furthermore horse racing is being tipped to begin soon in China and with the HKJC being the only legal means of wagering on the Mainland this offers an added potential dimension to the partnership.”

Posted in Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, www.fasttrack.hk | Leave a comment

THE DING DONGS ON HONG KONG’S WANG DANG DOODLES‏ (EPISODE 10)

(Courtesy of http://www.fasttrack.hk)

ten 1

THE SAD BALLAD OF THE HKJC, SIR PAUL AND GOVT RED TAPE.

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The heart is willing but the body is not- or something like that.

Though being Hong Kong’s biggest tax payer and its Charities division having almost paid for a better Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Jockey Club is still shackled by various Government restraints such as Land Lease issues, various Terms and Conditions as to what it can and cannot do at its two racecourses etc.

ten 3

One of those things that could have happened recently was the HKJC wishing to say Yeah Yeah Yeah to the first ever concert in Hong Kong by Sir Paul McCartney later this year at its racecourse in Shatin.

Paul McCartney Out There Tour 2013

Apart from AsiaWorld at the other end of Hong Kong, two of the city’s best- and largest- and only- venues are the racecourses in Happy Valley and Shatin.

Many have wondered for decades why, on non-race days, these cannot be used, especially, for concerts.

Well, there are sound ordinances and there are are reams and reams of typical governmental No, Minister bollocks that have killed this and many ideas out.

Who’s the loser? Hong Kong.

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Who does Hong Kong ALWAYS lose out to when it comes to concerts? Singapore?

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What do organizations like the HKTA, InvestHK and the invisible CreateHK do about this? Nothing.

What can the HKJC do about it?

Well, apart from reviewing its current Terms and Conditions when it comes to how and when its two racecourses can be used and reaching a new compromise, it’s really up to the public to tell the government to wake up, smell the dim sum and realize that one-time “Swingabore” is attracting many of Hong Kong’s creative talent along with being the regional hub for the International media and where something as simple as holding an outdoor concert isn’t attacked by The Day Of The Locusts.

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Apart from Singapore, Hong Kong is losing out to Macau in the concert business- and, from what we hear- where the Macau Jockey Club will soon be a venue for concerts.

The Boss at Taipa? Could well be.

Bruce Springsteen new album

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CASPAR COUNTS HIS LUCKY NINES.

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Michael Cox of the SCMP wrote an excellent piece this week on the brilliant- and tactical- rides last Sunday by Tommy Berry on Designs Of Rome and Brett Prebble on Lucky Nine which would be pointless for us to trudge through again.

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Adding to the Cox man’s piece, what we’d like to mention is the role of trainer Caspar Fownes in the win of Lucky Nine.

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If he weren’t married to his childhood sweetheart, Alix, we’d swear he sleeps with Lucky Nine.

Cas, to many, one of the good guys in racing and The Man Of A Thousand “Nearly Fine” Voices, has done a remarkable job with his favorite galloper.

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When we saw it starting at 5.8 on Sunday, we gulped. Lucky Nine, we thought- at 5.8??? Hello??? Sterling City at 1.7??? More hellos. And when we heard from many around us that Lucky Nine was “past it”, well, we just put that down to swallowing too many dumbnuts.

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Here is a galloper who is all heart- and probably gets mighty pissed off if it doesn’t proudly strut back to the winners enclosure with his team- Brett Prebble, his owners and Caspar.

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On Sunday, seeing the Fownes family- and it was great to see Lawrie Fownes at the track- with this pretty incredible horse and a personality in its own right- well, it was one of those moments that makes one proud to be part of horse racing as it gives the sport much more than being an outlet for bogans and which makes some see you as a full-time mug.

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It gives horse racing, a heart and soul.

And Amen to that.

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THE BRIAN BRYCE STORY: TO BLOW THE LID OFF THE TAIPANS OF HONG KONG- AND THE EARLY DAYS OF HK RACING.

It’s a few years off, but, to borrow a phrase from Aussie racing pundit nehru Ritchie “The Tipping Point” Callander, you read it here first: Watch out for a movie or TV series based on the life and times of the late hotelier Bryan Bryce which will blow the lid off the world of big business, Hong Kong in the Sixties and Seventies, some of the biggest names in horse racing from yesterday’s Hong Kong such as Stanley Ho and Sir Michael Sandberg, below, with it all centering around this charismatic Aussie who arrived in Hong Kong with nothing, became the worldwide head of Hyatt International Hotel, squired and bonked some of the world’s most beautiful women including a harem of Chinese actresses and then saw his world implode.

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We recently found a quote from boxing promoter Don King describing Bryce as, “The only white nigga I trust.”

A high complement indeed and a story that is a combination of James Clavell’s Taipan, Mad Men and The Wolf Of Wall Street.

Mad Men (Season 5)

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TIPS FOR HAPPY WEDNESDAY FROM FAST TRACK.

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TIPS FOR TONIGHT AT THE HAPPY VALLEY (FROM THIRD DIVIDEND)

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Happy Valley (HKG)
Wed, 19/2/14
#HValley Night Races @HKJC_Racing
Turf (“C” Course-Worked Back)
Weather: It will be cold. Cloudy with a few rain patches at first. Bright later in the afternoon. The maximum temperature will be around 11 degrees. Fresh to strong northerly winds.
Outlook: Remaining cold in the next couple of days. Fine and dry on Thursday. Temperatures will rise over the weekend.
Source: http://www.hko.gov.hk/contente.htm

Race 1: FANLING HCP CL5
1 – Flying Keeper (10)
2 – Shangjai Pioneer (6)
3 – All Times Lucky (7)
4 – Novel Start (5)

Race 2: KWAI CHUNG HCP CL5
1 – Infinite Courage (10)
2 – Mr Marfach (5)
3 – Starlit Warrior (11)
4 – Mizzen Grey (1)

Race 3: SAI KUNG HCP CL4
1 – Gentilis (3)
2 – Call Me Acheiver (5)
3 – Seasons Star (1)
4 – Glory Horse (4)

Race 4: SHA TIN HCP CL4
1 – Fire Starter (4)
2 – Friends Of Yan Oi (11)
3 – Key Witness (5)
4 – Victory General (7)

Race 5 (Q1): TAI PO HCP CL4
1 – Step High (2)
2 – Ambitous Treasure (10)
3 – Sure Champ (7)
4 – Good Thinker (8)

Race 6 (Q2): TIN SHUI WAI HCP CL3
1 – Getaway Guy (4)
2 – You Read My Mind (7)
3 – Highest Acclaim (3)
4 – Victorious (2)

Race 7 (Q3): THE ROTARY CENTENARY CHALLENGE CUP HCP CL3
1 – Jazzy Feeling (4)
2 – Calling With Love (6)
3 – Ka Ying Kid (5)
4 – Enthusuasm (1)

Race 8 (Q4): TSUEN WAN HCP CL2
1 – Pleasure Gains (2)
2 – Sunny Ying (3)
3 – Jolly Victor (9)
4 – Bubble Chic (7)

Best Bet
Race 3: Gentilis (3)

Next Best
Race 7: Jazzy Feeling (4)

Value Bet
Race 2: Infinite Courage (10) – Currently, $6.50/$2.30

Long Shot
Race 8: Bubble Chic (7) – Currently, $12.00/$2.80

Quaddie ($100 gets you 39%)
2.7.8.10
2.3.4.7
1.4.5.6
2.3.7.9

Six Up
3
4
2.10
4
4.5.6
2.3.7.9

 

SELECTIONS FROM THE BIG APPLE (@SW064351)

big apple 4

BEST BET
Jockey Challenge, D Whyte
Full book of rides and finishes the night strongly. Value at $3.

SECOND BEST
Race 8, No. 3 Sunny Ying
Rock hard fit and racing well. Take catching again.

LONGSHOT
Race 7, No. 3 Emperor Claudius
Lack of pace and should be prominent at the end. Each-way.

LAY
Race 3, No. 5 Call Me Achiever
Hasn’t won in a long while and won’t get any peace up front.

QUADDIE
2,10,11 / 3,4,7 / 3,4,6 / 2,3,7,9. $50 for 46.29%.

——————————————

THE FAST TRACKER TURNS WHYTE AT THE VALLEY.

ten 22

After last Wednesday’s bloodbath at Happy Valley where some of the results left many dazed and confused, tonight’s races have almost a shiny happy glow to them with even the Triple Trio looking gettable.

ten 23

The jockey to follow? Though after a few days of fighting off bronchitis, The Zac Attack will be at his lethal best, I’m banking on Dougie Whyte having a big day though Joao Moreira will, as always, be popping up all over the place tonight- his last day before starting a three-day suspension- and with the next three Happy Wednesdays seeing Magic coming to the Valley.

ten 24

R1 ALL TIMES LUCKY/FLYING KEEPER/SLEDGE HAMMER

R2 INFINITE COURAGE/HUMONGUS/STARLIT WARRIOR/VIVA GUY

R3 GENTILLS/CALL ME ACHIEVER

Yes, after Collagen and the poverty-stricken Peniaphobia, we have that combination of genitals and Gentiles racing here in Gentills with The Zac Attack aboard and looking as if he only has The Magic Man to beat.

ten 25

R4 FIRE STARTER/KEY WITNESS

ten 26

R5 STEP HIGH/AMBITIOUS TREASURE/OWNER’S GLORY/SURE CHAMP

I will say, Step High, below,won’t win this, but being the middle pin of the TT and the leg which can easily cause an upset, gawd knows who it might be???

ten 27

Owner’s Glory with Dickie Lui up, who delivered for me with Approve last week, would be a banker- at odds- and it’s good to see various trainers giving him more and more rides with real winning chances.

ten 28

R6 YOU READ MY MIND/HIGHEST ACCLAIM/GETAWAY GUY

Getaway Guy has been my horse to follow since its last run when drawn wide, and with a good draw tonight, should, at least, place. Am backing it to win with Dougie Whyte sticking with it and not jumping ship.

ten 29

R7 JAZZY FEELING/CALLING WITH LOVE

Well, if celebrity Aaron Kwok shows up- and the darling of so many appears at even the opening of an envelope- to lead in his horse Calling With Love, back it to run in the first three? Can it win? Hmmmm. I have a Jazzy Feeling, it won’t.

APPLE DAILY PHOTO

R8 LUCKY FOREVER/BULLISH BOY/SUNNY YING/JOLLY VICTOR/PERFECT CHEERS

The toughest race of the night and which just might end with some Perfect Cheers for trainer Caspar Fownes. The horse loves Happy Valley and has a habit of popping up at good odds.

ten 31

BEST BET RACE 6 GETAWAY GUY
NEXT BEST RACE 4 FIRE STARTER
LONGSHOT RACE 8 PERFECT CHEERS

SARIKA’S SIX UP

ten 32

R3: 3
R4: 4
R5: 2-7-10-11
R6: 4-7
R7: 4
R8: 3-5-7-8-9

—————————

PARTING SHOT

ten 33

Posted in brett prebble, casper fownes, DOUGLAS WHYTE, HAPPY WEDNESDAY, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, The horse racing industry, www.fasttrack.hk, zac purton | 1 Comment

CHRISTIAN AND THE DICKHEAD

It really hurts, daddy, when someone whom you’ve looked up to for, gee, at least five days, slams the door in your face.

It makes one feel almost orphaned, rebuked, tossed aside like yesterday’s Daily Telegraph and so, well, cheap.

DICKHEAD 1

And so it is with my very sad tale of woe with racing writer extraordinaire Christian Nicopottamus of the Daily Telegraph in Australia- the Hunter S Thompson of gonzo racing journalism combined with the wit of Idi Amin and the profundity of the Weather Channel. I know. Profundity?

DICKHEAD 2

When I recently read the Christian man’s incredibly well-researched piece on the effects of gamma rays on the moon and why because of that lucky old sun- Ethel Merman, I feel a song coming on, mama- a race meeting at Caulfield had its races moved forward so as to look after the welfare of the jockeys and horses, I thought to myself, Hellooo, Bubkiss, here is someone who has his finger on the pulse of the future of racing- and knows what truly matters to the sport.

B1ETHMER_WE_C_^_WEDIQ

All those weather reports he trotted out! All those temperatures he reminisced about! And then- like a miracle- and maybe it was- he wheeled out Ray Murrihy in a subtle journalistic twist to bring together the effects of the sun and its gamma Rays on horse racing.

DICKHEAD 4

I thought to myself while looking above into that wide blue yonder where clouds played together and changed shapes like castles in the sand but up there in the sky, how bloody brilliant his prose was and felt another song coming on and BURST into my Nina Simone voice and belted out Summertime.

DICKHEAD 5

I felt like Porgy crying out for Bess while making a real Kunta Kinte of myself.

DICKHEAD 6

Uncle Ray, a legend amongst men who is said to have studied under the Shaolin monks during those forty days and forty nights when he disappeared into the wilderness, spoke eloquently and sagely about the weather- the effects of the sun on one’s brain, sunstroke, Here Comes The Sun, When Sunny Gets Blue, Get Offa My Cloud, Rainy Days And Mondays, and Icarus.

DICKHEAD 7

Uncle Ray painted a wonderful rainbow connection that brought to mind Kermit and Pigs In Space.

DICKHEAD 8

Yes, it was so out there and outré that I just HAD to write about how this Ray of sunshine had changed my life, let alone the effect it had on the wonders of horse racing.

Sadly, the Christian man did not appreciate my humble tribute to him and called me “laughable”- about what I know not- in his new piece of gonzo journalism and which reached a Klout moment from near and far.

DICKHEAD 9

What had I done to torment my Christian leader other than follow him to the mountaintop like I had once followed Chauncey Gardener?

DICKHEAD 10

Why had I incurred his wrath which made all the bramble bushes around my being BURST into flames?

Oy vey, Batman, all this BURSTING going on!

DICKHEAD 11

I reached out to the Christian man.

Yes, I swallowed my pride and nearly gagged on my tongue, and threw him a twittering olive branch.

DICKHEAD 12

Alas, it was a Sunday and he must have been deep in his thoughts composing his next sermon as his reply was not the Christian thing to do. Or maybe it was.

DICKHEAD 13

Like Jesus chasing out the gamblers and whores from the temple, he blocked me from twittering with him, mano to mano, made owlish hoot hoot sounds and called me something very unkind: A dickhead.

DICKHEAD 14

I touched my head to just make sure that it hadn’t become this thing called a dickhead and said, speak to me. There was no answer. There was no dick there.

If there were one, it was dead as a doorknob.

DICKHEAD 15

I am now left scratching my head and wondering what more I can do.

I am tormented, I am riddled with guilt and half the man I once was.

Hell, I feel another song coming on…

Forgive me, Christian, for I have sinned.

Your humble and loving servant,

Hans

Posted in Australian horse racing industry, Horse Racing | 1 Comment

THE DING DONGS ON THE HONG KONG WANG DANG DOODLES‏ (EPISODE 9)

(Courtesy of http://www.fasttrack.hk)

seven 1

STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE’S DING DONGS

THE FAST TRACK GUIDE TO SHATIN 1

Often, especially in horse racing, the LOUDEST secrets are those deserving to fall on deaf ears.

nine 1

For example, for around two months, one of these LOUD secrets has been that Zac Purton had lost the ride on Military Attack with trainer John Moore telling the SCMP last week that he wasn’t happy with the jockey’s last few rides on the horse and how owner Steven Lo had listened to his trainer and agreed that Joao Moreira ride it.

Of course, the old “change of luck” trump card was played.

nine 2

If only we could use this on some of our relationships: Sorry, baby, but on your bike as I need a change of luck as you’re just bad fung shui.

Steven Lo Kit Sing, John Moore

What was puzzling to this supposed “done deal” were reports in the Chinese racing media that this was all news to Steven Lo who is said to have dug his heels in and, together with his gorgeous wife- Canny- was staying loyal to Purton.

nine 4

Of course, rumors are rumors and both Lo and Moore, or, as we call the dynamic duo, LoMoore are hard-headed people with a Do-as-I-say-or-else attitude.

It’s got them far in life and business and works for them. Dictatorial? Perhaps? As to who’s right and who’s wrong? Probably both.

John Moore is the horse’s hired trainer and knows what’s best for Military Attack whereas Steven Lo pays the training fees and purchased the horse.

nine 5

So, when titans clash, there is always a fallout and someone is the meat in the sandwich and here, the salami is Zac Purton.

nine 6

Apparently, there have been a few Kung Hei Fat Choys exchanged between the LoMoores along with a few ultimatums and how this is all played out in the next few weeks should make for another interesting horse opera.

nine 7

As for the breakdown between Moore and Purton, we wonder what caused it- and if it all centers around Military Attack and an owner siding with a jockey and not his trainer?

It sounds almost like a lovers tiff and about control as to some, control means everything and, if so, is this fair on Zac Purton who’s just the piano player in this cacophony of sound between two vocal personalities?

nine 8

Before the arrival of Magic Man Moreira- and what a fantastic addition he has been to the riding ranks- The Zac Attack was hailed as “the new Douglas Whyte”.

He could no wrong, did no wrong and was riding doubles and trebles with consummate ease, had won Group races at Ascot, Singapore- on Military Attack- Japan’s All-Star Jockey Series, and was on a bigger roll than a Cheech and Chong bong.

nine 9

Then, very abruptly, it’s all seemingly come to a screeching halt with Tye Angland being seen by some as “the new Zac Purton” in what feels like a very long season as so much has already happened.

These days, the perception is that the lethal Zac Attack almost seems relegated to a third banana role while finding it tough to get on winning rides and, for reasons we don’t understand, having to suddenly play a role as laid-back as Melbourne’s much-touted Relaxed Racing and its just plain juvenile Om radio spots. Dearie me.

nine 10

Getting back to Zac Purton, okay, so Tony Cruz doesn’t use him- but, let’s face it, when was the last time Cruzy used an Aussie jockey?

Brett Prebble might have, once upon a time, got a ride here and there, but that never went anywhere whereas even Douglas Whyte went through many seasons without any Cruz Control.

nine 11

The Aussie style of riding is not for him- though, for the first time- have mercy, sweet Brother James Brown!- Purton rides a horse for the trainer today- Bullish Friend in the Champion Sprint.

nine 12

John Size not using him is a bit more complicated and, possibly, goes back to the reputation of a much younger- and, supposedly, cocky- Zac Purton in Oz. Possibly.

nine 13

So, what next for The Zac Attack when this looked like being his Time Of The Season boosted with all those articles about him coming of age, too much made of the “finger pointing” episode and, far more importantly- and, rightfully- the incredible confidence he exuded and resulted in racking up over thirty winners in rapid quick time?

nine 14

But times change, people change and today, even Dennis Yip, Purton’s biggest supporter last season and who The Zac Attack helped enormously to win the Trainer Premiership, has had a slow start to this season, and, with his new purchases only now being unveiled, it looks as if Dougie Whyte has a head start on getting on these.

nine 15

Let’s not forget what a formidable partnership Whyte and Yip had a few seasons ago before Brett Prebble stepped in- and when that relationship soured, the pendulum swung back in favor of Whyte- until The Zac Attack came bursting through the door like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

nine 16

Yes, that’s racing and that’s the usual jockey merry-go-round that makes us dizzy, Miss Lizzy.

nine 17

nine 18

Advice to Purton like chin up and keep doing what you do best is easier said than done. They’re just words.

Frankly, if in the shoes of this extremely gifted rider, apart from having to deal with the recent blistering chilly weather that he loathes, and why he left Melbourne all those years ago, he’s also had to deal with getting the cold shoulder from some trainers- perhaps, orders from owners- we’d think it through and come out fighting- but by talking softly and carrying a big stick.

nine 19

Zac Purton is in a strange place right now and the story of not receiving the support of the three major stables has been played out too often and should be given a rest. It makes the jockey sound like the boy who cried wolf.

nine 20

Far more impressive is what he has achieved WITHOUT their support.

Right now, Hong Kong is in the throes of Moreiramania- and for good reason. The Brazilian Magic Man is an incredible talent and is extremely likable.

Everybody Loves Raymond and Everybody Loves Joao.

nine 21

nine 22

Like Douglas Whyte, Zac Purton has to deal with this new kid in town and realize that when life throws you a curve, you conquer it and learn to deal with it by reaching for The Art Of War, reading it, regrouping and coming out with a new and positive outlook on life that everyone can see- and wants to see you succeed by backing all you do.

After all, positivity is catchy.

nine 23

———————————————–

A jockey’s lot is sure a tough one and worse than anyone’s mood swings as things can change so drastically overnight- like the recent mini-banana split between young Chad Schofield and David Hayes.

nine 24

As the young rider mentioned in an interview with Baba Shane Anderson, he asked if he might possibly have one day of the week free when the stable wasn’t busy to ride for other stables to gain more experience- a simple request that got Schofield suspended from riding any of Haysey’s horses “for a while.”

———————————————–

Earlier this week, Tommy Berry went on social media to apologize for a ride on the Team Hawkes-trained Traitor that he felt was a bad one.

nine 25

We have to wonder if the young Berry who rode a treble at Rosehill yesterday has started a trend amongst jockeys and what Stewards might think if this Honesty policy really takes off?

nine 26

Think about it, especially how it might impact suspensions and how public opinion can win over a jockey for following an Honesty Is The Best Policy way of apologizing for a bad ride on social media.

We think it’s great and a game changer in horse racing which, one day very soon, will definitely impact Stewards enquiries.

nine 27

Meanwhile, as most of us know, Tommy Berry is in town for John Moore and to give Designs On Rome one final prep run before the Hong Kong Derby, but we were a tad surprised to see Craig Williams, below, being flown out, especially to ride the Almond Lee-trained First Sight Love in the Group 1 Hong Kong Classic Cup which races up a class and takes on the likes of Able Friend, Flagship Shine, and Designs On Rome at level weights.

nine 28

THE FAST TRACKER TAKES ON A CLASSICAL TWIST.

After last Saturday and a turgid Wednesday, today should be more about form and less to do with closing both eyes and taking a pin.

nine 29

Though the weather is cold, the sky is gloomy and the prospect of rain is forecast- and the experts always get it wrong- racing should be fair and square- and with no need to go out wide in search of new land.

R1MAGICAL BEAM/SPECTACULAR AWARD/MAN AND MING

A Class 5 race to open proceedings and a good time to go to the buffet table and grab the sushi and sashimi before they disappear before one can say, Sayonara.

nine 30

R2 SPARKLING SWORD/MELLIFLUENT/BRIGHT STAR/VARA PEARL

With two of the best chances drawn out wide- Bright Star and Mellifluent- this might give Sparkling Sword and newcomer Vara Pearl better chances of taking this one out.

R3 MR GOURMET/GREAT PEGASUS/GRACEFUL KINGDOM

A tough race and not for me- or Joao Moreira who- huh?- doesn’t have a ride in the race.

nine 31

R4 ON THE WAY/HAPPY CENTENARY

I’ve been following both horses and think one of them or both can be taken as bankers or even double bankers in a tough first leg of the Triple Trio with the former ridden by Douglas Whyte who has worked and kept the ride on On The Way from day one, and the other ridden by Brett Prebble, once fierce rivals and, today, good chums.

nine 32

Another horse to consider is the Caspar Fownes-trained Starting Over which came third on Wednesday and might find Shatin and a firmer track more to its liking. One doubts we saw the real Starting Over on Wednesday.

R5 SMART FORWARD/ACCESS YEARS

The last time these two met, Tommy Berry on Smart Forward rode a brilliant competitive race to keep Access Years pocketed.

nine 33

How this is played out today should be fascinating viewing with this looking like a two-horse race. For the tierce, Tonyboy, Multi-Express and Medic Swordsman.

R6 ARCHIPUSS/GREEN MANNER/EXECUTIVE MANDATE/KHAYA

Archipuss seems to be heading higher and looks the one to beat, but keep Khaya and, especially, Executive Mandate in mind which runs for the old firm of Hall and Prebble.

nine 34

If looking for a real longshot, bung in the Ranjan Mahtani-owned Jaeger Bomb, who, from what I hear, is quite an expert on the powers of this lethal shooter.

nine 35

R7 LUCKY NINE/CHARLES THE GREAT/FREDERICK ENGELS/STERLING CITY

Take Lucky Nine out of this field where it will be the sentimental favorite and what you have is a very even field.

nine 36

Surprising is Tony Cruz having three runners in the race and Matthew Chadwick on none of them.

He rides the very interesting Cerise Cherry for Derek Cruz.

nine 37

R8 ABLE FRIEND

Just wins with Designs On Rome not knocked about.

nine 38

R9 REWARDING HERO/KABAYAN

Another winner for John Moore and possibly even a Moore quinella.

R10 BIG FOUR/SMART BALL/GREAT CHARM/GREAT SKY

A typically competitive last race which will see some VERY heavy bets placed and where turnover will zoom and the totalizator explode.

BEST BET- RACE 9- REWARDING HERO (5)

NEXT BEST- RACE 4- ON THE WAY (7)

LONGSHOT- RACE 6- EXECUTIVE MANDATE

SARIKA’S SIX UP

nine 39

R5: 1-4
R6: 6-9-10-12
R7: 1
R8: 2
R9: 3-5-11
R10: 6-9-12

———————————————–

SELECTIONS FROM THE BIG APPLE (@SW064351)

big apple 4

BEST BET

Race 9, No. 5 Rewarding Hero
Won last start with something in hand and he appears destined for greater things.

SECOND BEST

Race 7, No. 1 Lucky Nine
Freshened since disappointing on international day. Barrier manners a concern but he looks to have too much class for this lot.

LONGSHOT

Race 10, No. 2 Great Charm
Was left flat-footed behind Mr Gnocchi but his win two starts back was outstanding. Worth another chance

LAY

Race 5, No. 4 Smart Forward
Only just got home after Access Years was badly held up and meets him five pounds worse.

QUADDIE

1,2,3,5 / 2,3,9 / 3,5,11 / 1,2,6. $50 for 46.29%.

———————————————–

TODAY’S SELECTIONS FOR SHA TIN (FROM THE THIRD DIVIDEND)

nine 40

Sun, 16/2/14
Day Races @HKJC_Racing
Turf (“A” Course)
Weather: It will be cloudy with a few rain patches. Temperatures will linger around 13 degrees at first, and rise gradually to a maximum of about 16 degrees. Mist patches at night. Moderate to fresh easterly winds, occasionally strong at first.
Source: http://www.hko.gov.hk/contente.htm

Race 1: DIM SUM HCP CL5
1 – Man And Ming (11)
2 – Record Again (5)
3 – Bernard’s Choise (1)
4 – Casa Junior (10)

Race 2: BILLET EXPRESS HCP CL4
1 – Mellifluent (3)
2 – Sparklign Sword (14)
3 – Bright Star (2)
4 – Fay Deep (13)

Race 3: ABSOLUTE CHAMPION HCP CL4
1 – Mr Gourmet (1)
2 – Graceful Kingdom (7)
3 – Great Pegasus (4)
4 – Sunny Pearl (9)

Race 4: SACRED KINGDOM HCP CL4
1 – Happy Centenary (4)
2 – Towering Storm (2)
3 – Winnam (8)
4 – On The Way (7)

Race 5: CHARMING CITY HCP CL3
1 – Smart Forward (4)
2 – Access Years (1)
3 – Multiexpress (10)
4 – Monte Castello (7)

Race 6: SILENT WITNESS HCP CL3
1 – Archippus (10)
2 – Khaya (12)
3 – Why Not (8)
4 – Genki Twins (2)

Race 7 (Q1): THE CHAIRMAN’S SPRINT PRIZE – HONG KONG GROUP ONE
1 – Sterling City (2)
2 – Lucky Nine (1)
3 – Charles The Great (3)
4 – Frederick Engels (4)

Race 8 (Q2): THE HONG KONG CLASSIC CUP – HONG KONG GROUP ONE
1 – Able Friend (2)
2 – Designs On Rome (3)
3 – Flagship Shine (1)
4 – Dr Good Habit (9)

Race 9 (Q3): FAIRY KING PRAWN HCP CL2
1 – Rewarding Hero (5)
2 – Kabayan (11)
3 – Beauty Flame (4)
4 – Sea Dragon (3)

Race 10 (Q4): GRAND DELIGHT HCP CL3
1 – Berlini (14)
2 – Sichuan Exec (5)
3 – Great Charm (2)
4 – Big Four (6)

Best Bet
Race 8: Able Friend (2)

Next Best
Race 5: Smart Forward (4)

Value Bet
Race 10: Berlini (14) – Currently, $11.00/N/A

Long Shot
Race 1: Casa Junior (10) – Currently, $31.00/$7.90

Quaddie ($100 gets you 69%)
1.2.3.4
1.2.3
3.4.5.11
2.5.14

Six Up
1.4
10.12
1.2.3
2
5.11
14

Posted in brett prebble, dennis yip, DOUGLAS WHYTE, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, JOAO MOREIRA, JOHN MOORE, The horse racing industry, Tony Cruz, www.fasttrack.hk, zac purton | 1 Comment

MURRIHY LOSES THE PLOT, MOODY GETS THE BLUES AND V’LUNDIES PREPARES TO GO TO COURT.

EARTH TO RAY MURRIHY.

MURRIHY 1

It’s getting increasingly difficult to maintain the little residual respect with which the larger part of the Australian racing media is held when you get the likes of Christian Nicolussi (Christian who?), from the Daily Telegraph putting his name to such drivel as he did in his At the Track column in last Sunday’s issue.

MURRIHY 2

“Christian Who” was having a go at our friends in bleak city for their decision to bring forward the times of their Group One race day at Caulfield last Saturday to an 11am start with the last at 3.20pm – a decision made by the Race Club and the governing body Racing Victoria in the interests of jockey and equine welfare on a day where the forecasted maximum temperature was predicted to hit 40C by 4pm, ahead of the last three races which included the Group One Orr Stakes.

From what we have learned the temperature reached that maximum and exceeded it in different suburbs during the afternoon and early part of the evening.

MURRIHY 3

“Christian Who’s” shock jock type piece was reminiscent of Alan Jones, Ray Hadley etc and is not taken seriously by anyone in the racing industry with half a brain.

MURRIHY 4

The alarm bells started ringing loud and clear when Sydney’s Chief upholder of the rules of racing – Chief Steward Ray “Colonel Klink” Murrihy- was bought into a subject which he should have stayed out of for the sake of sanity.

But, as our great mate Kieron Fallon would know, klunky Klinky just can’t help himself.

MURRIHY 5

Quoted by “Christian Who”, Brother Ray commented how “It’s a gross overreaction”. And then, “If we choose not to race in hot weather, we choose not to race for three or four months of the year. It’a simply not on. I’ve been in this business for 40 years and for 30 years no one even bothered to check the temperature. Now people go into hysterics when it gets to 30C. The number of horses we see affected …most of them are in September when you get a warm day out of the blue. I’m not against the idea of altering race times as a one-off situation to avoid the heat in the day, but horses have been used in desert campaigns during the war. They handle heat”.

The WAR??? DESERT campaigns??? Klink, Klink, lay off the Kool Aid! PUHLEEEEEEZE!

MURRIHY 5a

Phew, where do you start! First, Ray, let’s get one thing out of the way.

By your own word, you’ve been in the industry for 40 years and, mate, it’s time for Racing NSW to organize a gold watch for you and send you off into the sunset singing Happy Trails- or, depending on what drugs you might be self-medicating yourself with, In A Gadda Da Vida.

MURRIHY 6

A question to you, Ray, and Onward Christian Soldier: Have you dudes heard of Occupational Health and Safety and Workplace regulations?

It might be useful if you two familiarized yourselves with a measurement that they use down there in bleak city which, we are told, if exceeded certain temperature and humidity levels, would pose an unacceptable danger to the health and welfare of both jockey and horse.

MURRIHY 7

Both of you dudes should also familiarize yourselves with the very clear apportioning of responsibility and culpability, should an injury or, heaven forbid, a fatality were to occur if races were staged when clearly extreme weather posed an unacceptable risk.

Further, in the 21st century (Ray it is 2014, mate), the jockeys have every right to refuse to ride in such extreme conditions. And puhleeze don’t tell us, Ray, that these avaricious young and middle aged men and women would pass up an opportunity to earn their winning percentages and from wagers that almost certainly would be laid on their behalf.

MURRIHY 8

Remember the day last year, Ray, when a provincial race meeting- from memory at Gosford- was scheduled for a late start in summer and the poor old trainers, strappers, jockeys and horses trundled their way to the races only to find the temperature was in excess of 41C and jockeys pleaded on their bended knees for the meeting to be called off, which it was?

MURRIHY 9

Remember the backlash from the these people and from owners who demanded to know why the meeting was not called off earlier in the morning when it should have been called off? And did anyone give a stuff about the costs incurred by owners and everyone else? Costs which could have been avoided if an early call had been made to call off the meeting?

Ray? Ray? Earth to Ray?

MURRIHY 10

In Australian racing, these issues, problems, utterances, brain fades – call them what you like- are a recurring theme. Correction NIGHTMARE. It is racing’s Mission Impossible.

MURRIHY 11

Australian racing is just so immovably bogged down in a bygone era from which it finds itself incapable of extricating itself. And the people in charge – the executives, senior and middle management, Boards and Committees and decision makers- are all cut from the same cloth with that thinking having insidiously infiltrated the fawning and deadly dull racing media.

MURRIHY 12

For anyone, and particularly someone in Ray Murrihy’s position to make these types of comments is plainly lamentable.

For Christian Nicolussi to make comparisons with the temperature at Caulfield (33.8C) with Cowra (36.5C) and Tumbarumba (yes Tumbarumba near the Snowy Mountains, where it was 35.6C) beggars belief.

It is not the type of journalism that you would expect from journos covering the NRL, AFL or Cricket.

MURRIHY 13

Amazingly, racing keeps surviving despite itself, albeit it is no longer taken seriously by the broader community. It has succeeding in marginalizing itself. Probably terminally.

Equally amazingly, Australian racing is acknowledged- overwhelmingly- by all its stakeholders as being poorly administered and woefully managed.

MURRIHY 14

It manages to shine each year during the narrowest of windows at carnival time – read Melbourne spring racing carnival.

It is soooo very, very out of touch with contemporary life, society and its expectations it is downright embarrassing.

MURRIHY 15

AWWWWW, PETER’S GOT THE MOODY BLUES…

MURRIHY 16

Still feeling sorry for yourself, Moods?

Mate, whenever we read or hear comments from you about anything and everything in racing these days, you just come across as one very unhappy chappy.

MURRIHY 17

Now, we can fully understand how deeply affronted you were when your former bestie trainer mate from Flemington unleashed a war of attrition on you.

It was character assassination at its best, and, hate to say it, mate, but even in Sydney, it’s been a talking point, particularly among trainers close to your former Flemington bestie. You know who they are, mate.

Bit of advice mate, and don’t take it as gratuitous: The more you publicly raise the question of your so-called lean patch in training winners, the more you give credence to the “chinese whispers” that were and probably still being spread by your former Flemington bestie and his irrelevant sycophantic mates .

MURRIHY 18

To use a cricket analogy, let your bat and ball do the talking. Or even just your balls.

Stop whingeing and whining about the dress code and making those pathetic, tall poppy syndrome-type swipes comparing the collar, tie and jacket brigade in the Committee rooms and your attire at Caulfield last Saturday when apparently you had a run-in with the Fashion Police manning the gates.

Mate, you’re better than that, aren’t you? Are you freaking out?

MURRIHY 19

The message you are sending to the racing community is that of a “ranter”- and some of your rants are just that – illogical and irrational.

It’s scary shit, dude and the antithesis of Relaxed Racing. Chill, dude.

MURRIHY 20

Haven’t you got better things to concentrate on- like getting your deadly and lethal winning strike rate up to where it was and where it belongs?

MURRIHY 21

SURPRISED THERE ARE NO SURPRISES IN THE SHEIKH MO FINDINGS?

MURRIHY 22

So the independent inquiry instigated by Sheikh Mo himself into the Godolphin doping scandal surrounding the administration of the prohibited anabolic steroids into some of their horses, has exonerated, er, well, Sheikh Mohammed. Quelle supris.

MURRIHY 23

Lord Stevens, the former head of London’s metropolitan police concluded that: “We have established that no evidence whatsoever exists to suggest that HH Sheikh Mohammed had any knowledge of the purchase, transportation or use of any unregulated medicines. Equally neither did he have any knowledge of the illegal activities of Mohammed Al Zarooni”.

MURRIHY 24

We have no doubt that Lord Stevens’ findings are correct and the integrity of Sheikh Mo is not and has never, ever been questioned or at issue.

But with the greatest respect to the Good Lord, the real crux of the issue is the conclusion in his report that the seizures (of drugs from both Al Zarooni’s Godolphin stables at Newmarket and from a private jet), resulted from “management failings, insufficient oversight, and complacency within the organization”.

That established, the obvious question is what Sheikh Mo is going to do about this particular damning finding.

The inescapable conclusion is that the management and administration of Sheikh Mo’s Godolphin empire in the UK was incompetent.

The findings just cannot be taken lightly and swept aside.

MURRIHY 25

The Godolphin scandal strikes at the very core of racing – it’s Integrity. And integrity in racing cannot, and must never, ever be compromised.

MURRIHY 26

As a passionate racing man, Sheikh Mo must understand this.

He owes it to racing the world over to uphold integrity and clean up his management team.

Otherwise, the Lord Stevens independent inquiry will be perceived as nothing more than a cover-up. And in racing , as in life in general, perception is reality.

MURRIHY 27

OFF TO COURT AGAIN, PETE?

MURRIHY 28

It must be one of the more enduring love affairs of our time – that between the NSW legal system and Racing NSW Chief Executive Peter “the not so great” V’lundies, the fearless and fearsome protector of the interests of the “50,000 Participants” in the NSW racing industry and, more recently, champion of the punters. What a man!

MURRIHY 29

Fearless Pete is the man you want on your side if ever you go into battle in NSW – flushed with the financial resources of racing NSW, which, incidentally, come directly from the pockets of the punters who, bless their cotton pickin’ hearts, lose millions if not billions each year on the punt, giving the jolly green giant Tabcorp and their shareholders handsome dividends, some of which finishes up in the bank accounts of Racing NSW.

Fearless Pete is the lawyer’s best friend.

Lord only knows how many millions he has spent on legal fees fighting anyone and everyone from the dastardly corporate bookmakers over product fees to TVN and the then- AJC and STC over vision rights plus a member of his own executive team who successfully prosecuted an unfair dismissal case against the fearless one- to name just a few.

MURRIHY 30

Fast track to this week and the news today that the NSW Racing Appeals tribunal has upheld Gai Waterhouse’s appeals against Racing NSW in the case they brought against her in respect of notifying them of the condition of More Joyous in the lead up to the All Aged Stakes and Queen Of The Turf Stakes in 2013.

MURRIHY 31

Quoting from the Racing NSW website: “The Racing Appeals Tribunal upheld the appeals on the basis that Racing NSW had not established on the Briginshaw standard (legal precedent) that Ms Waterhouse was required to report the respective conditions, namely soreness to the neck and lameness of More Joyous to the Stewards”.

Racing NSW is, apparently, having nothing of that and certainly not their fearless leader Peter V’lundies.

MURRIHY 32

“Racing NSW is naturally disappointed in the decisions of the Racing Appeals Tribunal which provide no protection for the punters,” he thundered in that basso voice that had our mate Baba Shane recently quivering like Peter Pan bonking Tinkerbell.

MURRIHY 33

“The confidence of the public and, particularly, punters is critical to the integrity of the industry!”

Great words from the great pretender-sorry, great protector- of NSW punters though that old Platters’ hit keeps running our heads.

MURRIHY 34

The wash up- and hear it comes: “Racing NSW intends to appeal the decisions to the SUPREME COURT (capitals inserted by us) on the basis that they are against the weight of evidence and that the Racing Appeals Tribunal has incorrectly applied the relevant test”.

Yeah, baby, here we go again: Another all too familiar walk up the steps of the Supreme Court by Racing NSW, and at the expense of the NSW racing industry to fight the umpire’s decision – all in the name of the Punter.

It almost has a Rocky Moment attached to it and we can hear Rocky’s Theme following Peter V’Lundies everywhere he goes with his knickers in a twist.

MURRIHY 35

What a noble cause celebre by the Fearless Peter V’lundies. We can speculate very, very accurately what Lady GaiGai response would be.

MURRIHY 36

We can only say to you, Pete, heaven help you battling Lady GaiGai.

You are either very brave or fucking stupid- or both.

MURRIHY 37

Posted in Australian horse racing industry, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, PETER MOODY, Peter V'landys | 1 Comment

HAS A RACING CLUB AND BEN SEMMENS STUMBLED ON A NEW MUSIC BUSINESS MODEL?

It’s not a racing industry story, but at a time when many racing clubs are trying somewhat desperately to “connect” with the new or next generation- and often missing this objective by the proverbial mile- how the Hong Kong Jockey Club has played a role in giving an unknown singer from a small city in Wales- and we’re not talking about Atomic Jones, below- is an interesting one plus shows the eerie similarities between the music and racing industries.

intro 1

The problem with both industries- and throw in the dying advertising industry- is an internal one.

It has much to do with those without knowing marketing and advertising TODAY and what was produced decades earlier when advertising was relevant and with an extremely sophomoric idea of “social media” being in charge of finding ways to “connect” with a consumer group cynical of all things corporate- and which is, always, contrived and, well, corny.

Burger King’s one-time war cry of “Where’s the beef?” is, today, Where’s The Credibility?

intro 2

Today, it’s all about consumer-generated content which comes from engagement, and making the very market one is stumbling and bumbling over each other to convince, feel they are part of whatever the end product might be.

intro 3

From here, THEY become the most potent street marketing team one can have- for free- as only THEY have the power to make something go viral.

intro 4

Going viral or being effective is not about those relics from the Eighties called “television campaigns” and “television advertising” or the usual cliches in an ad agency’s archaic bag of tricks.

intro 5

These might wow corporate committees in racing clubs, many of whom are still living in the land of the Bee Gees and thinking John Travolta and Tom Cruise are straight, but have the effect of an ant crawling up an elephant’s leg in hopes of sex with today’s consumer.

intro 6

These are consumers weaned on YouTube and when Facebook when both were truly relevant and are now ripping off TV series and new movies from Pirate Bay, ripping off music from all the illegal file-sharing sites and laughing their asses off at those trying to “connect” and “engage” them in corporate bollocks that have suffered from that dreaded disease called Over-Thinking, Einstein.

intro 7

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BUSINESS MODEL 1

If, especially, a new musician with no proven track record and over-joyed that you’re going to be releasing your first record- or maybe your tenth, for that matter- read the link below, so you can keep your expectations in check.

BUSINESS MODEL 2

If willing to keep making music for the love of it with no expectations of financial returns and, often, never having your music heard and receiving bibs and bobs in royalty cheques, what’s written below- and it’s really nothing new- will mean nothing to you.

7 royalty cheques that’ll make you lose your faith in the music industry – AUX TV

What you have here is the age old question of how to make money through one’s music and which none of these music conferences tackle head-on as these are for the corporate world and where new artists are not part of the equation of what is a tedious dog and pony show.

BUSINESS MODEL 3

It was at one of these con-ferences where Daniel Ek, below, Founder of Spotify, was a guest speaker, that I asked the supposed wunderkind how artists benefit from his delivery system and platform- plus how do they get paid.

BUSINESS MODEL 4

Ek nearly became Eeeek. He was stymied. He looked like he wanted to hurl as it sure looked like paying musicians for their art had never crossed his mind as this was that truly stupid era when new musicians were constantly told by dopey music pundits that giving away their music was good promotion. Bollocks.

BUSINESS MODEL 5

Start giving away anything for free and you’re stuck with always giving away the same thing for free and with no end in sight other than devaluing your product.

Even a band with the following of Radiohead who asked fans to pay whatever they wanted for In Rainbows in 2007 might have made a very brave move to make a point about being the master of one’s destiny or not relying on a record label to do whatever they wanted with your product, but when remembering today in 2014 that fans and non-fans downloaded the record even on bit-torrent and paid what they thought it was worth- zero, in many cases, I am unsure what we have learnt.

BUSINESS MODEL 6

Okay, without plodding through the past, the genie has been set free from Pandora’s Box, we’re still rocking in the free world, making music available for free on twitter, YouTube etc- but, seriously, what for?

BUSINESS MODEL 7

For some free downloads, a few “likes”, some retweets and two thumbs up that will give you the “impetus” to keep doing the same thing ‘cos “the fans want it”?

What “fans”- or, to be more precise, how many more NEW fans has one gained?

BUSINESS MODEL 8

Great, but “the fans” don’t pay the rent. And then what?

Go to Kickstarter or Pledge and have fans pay for the recording of another new record?

And what happens when, like the other records, it, too, doesn’t sell- except to the fans who invested in it?

Haven’t in some way, these fans been duped, short-changed and let down?

Where is their ROI- Return On Investment?

BUSINESS MODEL 9

Ben Semmens is hardly a household name, but here is a singer-songwriter from a small town in Wales who had never left his home town where he was gigging in local pubs.

Today, he is playing to twenty thousand people every Wednesday in the Beer Garden at Happy Valley Racecourse in Hong Kong- and being paid for it.

BUSINESS MODEL 10

In fact, this racing club paid for his airfare and accommodation as part of a six month contract to perform at two venues at their weekly mid-day race meeting- the fourth time it has brought the musician out to Hong Kong.

Apart from the venues and a ready-made audience- there for the racing, sure, but who hit the stage area to watch Ben and his band perform- and the band is paid- during those 25 minutes between the races when nothing happens other than horses being paraded around the paddock area.

BUSINESS MODEL 11

What else? Being paid to record his music, having the accompanying music videos paid for- all by the racing club-and the music released through Universal Music.

So, what if these downloads- even if his first release topped the Hong Kong iTunes chart last month- make no money?

It adds to the artist’s portfolio while being paid for his art in other ways. Remember those two words: Other ways.

After all, if one way of doing things is taking you nowhere and where one is just recording music and hoping for the best when the best never happens, it’s time to try something new- or find a new career ‘cos maybe- just maybe- you’re crap at what you’re doing, but friends and family are too polite to say so?

Singer.

As for Ben Semmens, one can say that all this is pure luck. But life is eighty percent luck and twenty percent hard work and for that eighty percent luck to continue, there must be a hundred percent hard work and not taking anything for granted.

As we say, you’re only as good as your last hit and no one wants to hear about yesterday while living in the past.

Luck happens for a reason- but like any winning streak, it doesn’t last forever and what one does with these rare inside runs is the difference between success and failure and about seizing the moment.

BUSINESS MODEL 13

Managing Ben and working closely with the HKJC, of course, makes me biased, but, having worked with two music companies, all I can say is that a racing club has done more for an unknown musician and given his career a kickstart and platform for success and that next move more than any person or company or music conference supposedly “saving the music”.

The next step is up to Ben Semmens.

Unusual breaks like these don’t happen every day.

He knows, it’s all about, What’s Next? as What’s Now is good only for right now.

BUSINESS MODEL 14

Music has always meant about evolving- from the acoustic Dylan to Dylan going electric at the Isle Of Wight, from mop tops to Sgt Pepper from Both Sides Now to Hejira, from Nat King Cole to the brilliant Sly And The Family Stone, from Hendrix to Miles Davis to Prince to Nirvana and Pearl Jam…

BUSINESS MODEL 15

BUSINESS MODEL 16

BUSINESS MODEL 17

BUSINESS MODEL 18

BUSINESS MODEL 19

BUSINESS MODEL 20

With all these changes that have taken music so far, it’s sad when so many musicians have become lemmings.

BUSINESS MODEL 21

It’s sad to see so many believing all they read, following a monkey-see, monkey-do way of looking after their business and, by so doing, turning this business into wishful thinking, living on  a prayer while waiting for the kindness of strangers to deliver them from the hole they’ve dug for themselves, and turning the business of music in all its many forms into something even more boring than watching paint dry.

BUSINESS MODEL 22

Posted in HAPPY WEDNESDAY, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, Music Industry | Leave a comment

THE DING DONGS ON HONG KONG’S WANG DANG DOODLES (EPISODE 8)

seven 1

SMALL DING AND DONG

DING DONGS 1

And it’s- ding dong- a victory for John Moore with Joao Moreira being confirmed for Military Attack and with owner Steven Lo, said to have been insisting been that Zac Purton keep the ride, siding with the trainer’s decision. Guess the association between Moore and The Zac Attack has gone kaput.

DING DONGS 2

Just a thought but as we have had races named after Hong Kong beaches and streets, electrical appliances, brands of watches etc, what about a meeting named after all the great jockeys- now retired- who have successfully ridden here- Felix Coetzee, below, Darren Beadman, Basil Marcus, Brent Thomson, Michael Kinane etc etc- and fly them out?

DING DONGS 3

Surely, great for racing fans- and with huge sponsorship appeal? Huge!

DING DONGS 4

Okay, now, let’s get this straight as the winds of change, rumors and just plain goss prevalent of this industry keep blowing in and from all directions: Joao Moreira is NOT riding on Melbourne’s Oakleigh Plate Day. Ok? Douglas Whyte is. Ok? But he’s NOT riding the Robert Smerdon-trained Shamal Wind. Shame. But, Ok? Why? ‘cos Ryan Maloney who won on it at its last start is. Ok? What horses are Dougie Whyte riding? No idea.

COPYRIGHT KEIBABOOK JAPAN

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STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE’S DING DONGS.

THE FAST TRACK GUIDE TO SHATIN 1

There were two unusual occurrences at Happy Valley last Wednesday- and we don’t mean the dumbass yobbo wearing a horse head darting across the track after the last race- whereas we’re still wondering if the Saturday Keystone Cops meeting at Shatin really happened and if, because of some divine intervention, we decided not to serve up our full menu of ding dongs that day.

DING DONGS 6

Last Wednesday, what was spookily weird was Joao Moreira not riding a winner, and the second was the crowd at the Beer Garden demanding an encore from Ben Semmens and his band almost oblivious to the last race.

DING DONGS 7

The encore never happened as it would have spooked the horses which would have- ding dong- spooked the trainers and owners and which would have meant breaking one of those archaic ding dong sound ordinances, so, instead, it meant listening to the usual big audio dynamite that explodes from all directions before the dulcet tones of Brett “Lucky” Davis called the race- an action-packed race which resulted in Magic Moreira and Ollie Delouze, below, receiving three day suspensions for careless riding.

DING DONGS 8

For Moreira, salt was rubbed into the wound with a $60,000 fine and to the racing pundit who told us that this is “nothing” for the jockey, don’t be a total ignoramus. Money is money.

DING DONGS 9

With no inroads made that Wednesday by Joao Moreira on Zac Purton’s lead in the Jockey Premiership and the Zac Attack back in action on Saturday after HIS two-day suspension, the odds swung back in the favor of the popular Aussie- but only just.

DING DONGS 10

On Saturday at Shatin, The Magic Man struck back- hard- with a four-timer whereas The Zac Attack came up empty-handed.

As seen below, Zac’s sluggish return must have been due to the effects of stuffing his face with Ding Dongs while trying to get a tan in Boracy. The tan didn’t work.

DING DONGS 11

The main talk, however, was about the track condition which, when looked at head-on, made many of the races look like a battle charge from Braveheart with every inch of grass used by horse and rider.

And when the on-track commentators said they were looking forward to the dirt races so there could be some semblance of form taking place, well, what can we say? Chaaaaaarge?

DING DONGS 12

As the track had been watered to give it some cushion- just perhaps, punters could have been notified about this BEFORE the races?- well, the steady light drizzle and curtain of mist made it more like a well-used duvet from too much ding donging.

DING DONGS 13

Some Hong Kong old timers compared Saturday to a race day decades ago when David Brosnan rode a five-timer at Shatin and also mentioned how the track would have been perfect for a noted mudlark from those days of yore named The Joker.

Though never having seen The Joker or Brozzy when he was a rider and before he took the fall for so many ingrates during an ICAC swoop on many in horse racing in Hong Kong who are still swanning around town- and we know who some of these spineless twats are- there was a surreal sense of a time warp to Saturday’s racing.

It was a weird mixture of Charlie Chaplin slapstick, The Charge Of The Light Brigade and Jimi Hendrix singing Crosstown Traffic.

DING DONGS 14

It didn’t hurt turnover with over $1.34 billion wagered and some hefty bets placed on the last race, BUT, the wins- and rides by Tye Angland and Brett Prebble on Lucky Bonus and Geronimo Meadow, respectively- were what had many gobsmacked. We were just bewildered with a ride by Mirco Demuro.

DING DONGS 15

DING DONGS 16

There was also the yawning five-length win of Flame Hero in the last race which Moreira brought to the outside of the track- after almost being knocked sideways- where the going was like living life in the fast lane.

DING DONGS 17

Now, here’s where we have a problem: With safety being such a priority and Moreira having had to pay the piper so many times for careless riding, didn’t this track with riders criss-crossing each other to get to the supposed good going represent far more dangerous safety hazards?

And IF there were any Mr Bean-type breakdowns in fine motor school skills resulting in crash, bang, wallop, would it have been fair to point the finger ONLY at the riders?

DING DONGS 18

Good gawd, how we miss the late, great Ivan Allan who would have taken no prisoners- no matter who was minding the jail- and pointed his finger directly at where he believed the buck stopped.

DING DONGS 19

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A TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE ORDER OF THE SUN FORCE.

DING DONGS 20

Boyohboy, after all the happiness of their Order Of The Sun leading all the way and winning at 9 to 1 on Saturday, there were some very long faces at Gosford on Sunday when red hot favorite Sun Force was eclipsed and darkness fell over the racecourse.

DING DONGS 21

Both horses are owned by connections of Sun Racing International, the controversial Macau-based casino operator that has entered the racing industry in Australia in equally controversial manner by purchasing Eliza Farm and a number of horses with a business model reminiscent of how “businessman” Carson Yeung, below, bought himself into football in the UK.

DING DONGS 22

Old Carson, who is facing FIVE big money laundering charges in Hong Kong, recently “resigned” as Chairman of Portsmouth FC.

Resigned? Oh, come on. And why is the Oz racing media so coy when writing in LARGE print about one Chinese-run horse racing organization, money laundering using racing as a channel, the Yun Yee Yong triad society, and how it’s part and parcel of the purchasing of a certain racing farm, but not naming those names known to all?

DING DONGS 23

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THE BRETT “LUCKY” DAVIS CORNER.

THE DING DONGS 12

We have always said there is method in his madness and madness in his methodology and so, when asked how and why he decided to start Saturday’s plait de jour of steering Lucky Bonus to life on the fast lane- and making up eight lengths and winning the race- Tye Angland, below, was more than happy to give all credit to “Lucky” Davis.

DING DONGS 24

Apparently, on the Racing To Win reality series the night before race day, “Lucky” wondered out aloud why more jockeys didn’t use the outside area of the track which always favors those in a 1000m sprint in Shatin. Or something like that as we missed this exciting installment of the horse opera.

Listening to these thoughts must have given Amigo Darren The Dragon, below, another nervous tic and had him nervously tapping on that Ikea table while Amigo Clint must have winced and checked his ticker.

seven 15

So, despite there being no 1000m races on Saturday, it didn’t stop almost every jockey having a go at copying Angland’s winning strategy- and heading for the standside.

DING DONGS 25

Some succeeded and others- including Angland on the appropriately named Silly Buddies and the shortest priced favorite for the day- failed dismally. Ding dong.

Silly Buddies ran more like those silly buddies in The Hangover- and Saturday will go into the peanut recesses of our minds like one of the days from the night before where everything is just one big blur like Song 2 Wooohooo!

DING DONGS 26

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BUT WHAT IS A TOTALIZATOR AND WHO WANTS RACING TO BE, ER, RELAXED?

DING DONGS 27

One can give newcomers to racing tipping sheets, racing apps, facts and figures, but none of these connect with this market that still bet on horses they like ‘cos of colors and lucky numbers with the ONLY racing-based bit of information they care to know- kinda- being the names of the leading jockeys who they follow in the Jockeys Challenge and in every race they have a ride.

For example, we know two groups of ladies who work as executives for two different television news channels and are regulars at the Beer Garden.

They compete against each other EVERY Wednesday by spending $5,000 on the Jockeys Challenge and then another few thousands backing their favorites- Joao Moreira and Zac Purton, respectively- in every race they have a ride.

DING DONGS 28

Can they read the totalizator? They can’t be bothered- and are equally bored and uninterested in reading people’s tips.

DING DONGS 28a

If one were to OFFER them a tip, perhaps- though, if it doesn’t win, they can make you feel like a right tool.

DING DONGS 29

When asked if they look at the totalizator board, apart from asking what it was, their answer was simple: “Baby, we come racing to forget work and have a good time. All those numbers is too much hard work.”

DING DONGS 30

From the mouths of babes, indeed- though one of our favorite babes- Sarika Choy, below, was seen trying to make her Finding Happy Wednesday co-host Justin Lim understand how to read the totalizator.

What many in racing clubs simply don’t get or refuse to understand is that this customer group will never ever be full-time, one-dimensional racing tragics.

It’s not for them as they have choices- many other choices to keep themselves entertained and experience the thrill of winning without the chore of doing homework.

DING DONGS 31

In Hong Kong, for example, where this is a far more affluent group than any other part of the world, even owning a horse- or horses- is a hobby as is opening a club or restaurant or buying the latest Ferrari.

It’s all about aspiration and a status symbol and being able to flaunt it, baby, simply because they can.

DING DONGS 32

Most in this customer group are either high-powered executives in the finance sector- especially, overseas educated females- or are running their family business.

They are a customer group that also stays clear of what their parents and uncles were weaned on and view anything from the old school corporate world suspiciously.

We have seen this, first hand, in the music industry.

Where before a music company could have been guaranteed sales of a CD by placing a few ads in some music magazines and the token television commercial, today, it’s all about streaming, downloads, and file sharing- legal and illegal- amongst music fans.

DING DONGS 33

Television? Who watches television when there’s Pirate Bay to rip off whatever you wanna watch when YOU want it- onto computers, iPhones and iPads?

DING DONGS 34

Do these people visit the websites of music companies? No.

What’s there for them other than to navigate their way through corporate clutter written for the corporate world?

DING DONGS 35

Do they read reviews of records- or, for that matter, movies or clubs or restaurants?

No- as they wish to make up their own minds and not read the ramblings of some overnight foodie blogger looking for free meals.

DING DONGS 36

Same with listening to tipsters and tips and anything tweeted or Facebooked from racing’s corporate world.

Simply put, it’s uncool- which means it’s as fake as a “Rolex” bought in Mongkok.

DING DONGS 37

So, when we read about marketing initiatives in Melbourne like “Relaxed Racing”, we winced as it reeked of something incredibly boring created by another generation trying desperately to connect with the new and younger generation- and thinking they’re succeeding- but sounding like Daddy trying to prove he’s in touch with today by saying how much he likes Beyonce and that he’s now on Facebook.

DING DONGS 38

Relaxed Racing should have gone with Frankie To Hollywood’s recording of Relax and, at least, brought in some camp value instead of making racing sound as exciting as a Teddy Bears Picnic.

DING DONGS 39

DING DONGS 53

Oh, well, horses for courses and Relaxed Racing might go like the clappers in the land Down Under- but in Hong Kong, where no one needs to be told how to dress, it would be a right royal turn-off.

DING DONGS 40

Today, wherever in the world one might be, it’s all about consumer-generated content, knowing what’s going viral exactly WHEN it’s going viral, gaming, and, when it comes to racing, it’s about keeping things simple- and keeping things real- very real.

DING DONGS 41

It’s nothing intellectual or something which can be taught or researched as making this connection is not an exact science as it has to do with 90% gut instinct and 10% common sense.

Some have it- the instinct and the sense- and others only end up with the gut and a sense of being, well, common.

God can be so unfair.

DING DONGS 42

———————————————–

THE FAST TRACKER GOES OUT WIDE LOOKING FOR BETTER GOING.

With six hot pot favorites having bit the dust in the past two race meetings plus looking at how so many jockeys followed Tye Angland’s lead on Saturday at Shatin and made a beeline to the outside of the track as if riding in a 1000m scamper, well, looking for winners tonight doesn’t fill me with much confidence.

DING DONGS 43

Why?

Apart from form, trackwork, odds, barriers and jockey engagements, with a sudden change in weather- it’s BITTERLY cold in Hong Kong right now with a strong chill factor in the air- there is always the possibility of a track bias which affects riding instructions and brain freeze moments during the running of a race as there’s so much to think about.

DING DONGS 44

Racing to me on any Happy Wednesday is about enjoying myself with friends without any hassles, meeting like-minded people, and having a bet where, if I win, I win.
If not, it’s not the end of the world as there’s the night ahead and the chance for a different kind of winning.

DING DONGS 45

R1 SPICY SHRIMP/MEGA

R2 PEACEFUL MISSION

Dougie Whyte doesn’t waste to ride at this weight for nothing.

R3 YO YO DA/LUCKY DAY/PEARL WIN

R4 ABLE MAGIC

This tackles the right distance after quite a while, owners in the Po family have been very loyal to jockey Derek Leung and this might just go off at a good price.

R5 EXPECTATOR/RED PLAIN BANNER/SUPER TEAM/OYSTER

Collagen runs in this race- and for the first time since switching to the yard of Paul O’Sullivan for more fuller lips.

DING DONGS 46

One of the tougher races on the card and with so many different jockey changes and permutations that it can give one severe brain freeze.

Expectator with Dougie Whyte up is sure to be in the money- but should it? Personally, with a small triple trio jackpot at stake, sure, I’ll take it and Super Team as legs but would rather go wide and look at Red Plain Banner and Oyster.

R6 ST YAZIN/FANTASTICO/BRILLIANT PROPOSAL/

Eddie Lai riding for Gary Ng in a sprint is always a formidable team so have a go on St Yazin which showed zero zip when push came to shove at its last start. Lai on it- and he’s won on the horse- might show the St Yazin we remember.

DING DONGS 47

R7 OVETT/BOTH SURE

R8 CLASSIC JEWELLERY/APPROVE/MAJESTIC ANTHEM

With Moreira up and Classic Jewellery taking a class drop, this is certain to start favorite in a race with a number of chances with Tony Cruz turning to Mirco Demuro for the ride on Majestic Anthem.

DING DONGS 48

Funny how Cruzy gives Aussie jocks the cold shoulder. Must be memories when he was under their thumbs as an apprentice.

DING DONGS 49

Personally, as he has been doing such a good job with Approve and John Moore sticking with him, I’d love to see apprentice Dickie Lui, below, breakthrough for a win on this very honest galloper- though drawn barrier 11 puts a dent to its chances.

DING DONGS 50

BEST BET: RACE 2 PEACEFUL MISSION

NEXT BEST: RACE 8 MAJESTIC ANTHEM

LONGSHOT: RACE 4 ABLE MAGIC

SARIKA’S SIX UP

DING DONGS 51

R3-2,3,6,10
R4-1,5,11
R5- 9
R6- 6,9,12
R7- 8
R8- 2,10

——————————

TONIGHT’S SELECTIONS FOR HAPPY VALLEY (FROM THE THIRD DIVIDEND)

DING DONGS 52

Happy Valley (HKG)
Wed, 12/2/14
#HValley Night Races @HKJC_Racing
Turf (“B” Course-Worked Back)
Weather: It will be cold. Cloudy with a few rain patches. The minimum temperature in the morning will be around 8 degrees in the urban areas, and a couple of degrees lower in the New Territories. The maximum temperature will be about 12 degrees during the day. Moderate to fresh north to northeasterly winds.
Source: http://www.hko.gov.hk/contente.htm

Race 1: KENNEDY HCP CL5
1 – Spicy Shrimp (11)
2 – Highland Dragon (1)
3 – Mega (12)
4 – Flying Keeper (9)

Race 2: MORRISON HILL HCP CL4
1 – Happy Champion (1)
2 – Speedygonzalez (3)
3 – Peaceful Mission (11)
4 – Demon Demon (4)

Race 3: QUEEN’S ROAD EAST HCP CL4
1 – Pearl Win (3)
2 – Yo Yo Da (6)
3 – Fresh Air (10)
4 – Friends Of Yan Oi (12)

Race 4: STUBBS HCP CL4 (SEC 1)
1 – Mighty Equus (8)
2 – Starting Over (1)
3 – King Tai Sing (7)
4 – Tai Po Fortune (11)

Race 5 (Q1): STUBBS HCP CL4 (SEC 2)
1 – Oyster (6)
2 – Expector (7)
3 – Super Team (9)
4 – Plain Red Banner (2)

Race 6 (Q2): THE VOLUNTEERS CHALLENGE CUP HC0 CL3
1 – Braveness (1)
2 – Fantastico (9)
3 – Brilliant Proposal (12)
4 – St Yazin (6)

Race 7 (Q3): TIN LOK HCP CL3
1 – Ovett (8)
2 – Step Faster (4)
3 – Both Sure (3)
4 – Rainbow Fighter (2)

Race 8 (Q4): WAN CHAI GAP HCP CL3
1 – Approve (1)
2 – Classic Jewellery (2)
3 – Majestic Anthem (10)
4 – Mr Medici (7)

Best Bet
Race 4: Mighty Equus (8)

Next Best
Race 7: Ovett (8)

Value Bet
Race 8: Approve (1) – Currently, $6.10/$2.30

Long Shot
Race 5: Collagen (4) – Currently, $13.00/$4.60

Quaddie ($100 gets you 39%)
2.6.7.9
1.6.9.12
2.3.4.8
1.2.7.10

Six Up
1.9
8
6.7
1.9
8
1.2.10

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SELECTIONS FROM THE BIG APPLE (@SW064351)

big apple 4

BEST BET
Race 7, No. 3 Both Sure
Freshened since working home nicely on IJC day. Sound claims.

SECOND BEST
Race 6, No. 1 Braveness
Drew away for an impressive win last start. Can make it two in a row.

LONGSHOT
Race 5, No. 12 Good Luck Win
Well rated and has won a barrier trial since changing stables. Don’t dismiss.

LAY
Race 8, No. 2 Classic Jewellery
Runs his best races fresh and this is his third run back.

QUADDIE
6,7,9,12 / 1,2,7,12 / 3,8 / 1,9,10. $50 for 52.08%.

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