By Hans Ebert
We never undertook The Passage To India that would have taken us into the bowels of Mumbai, the home of Bollywood, and this year’s gathering of ARF- the Asian Racing Federation- for ARC, the Asian Racing Conference. Reading some of the twittering coming outta Mumbai, we were reminded of that line the great Quincy Jones used before producing all those megastars for the We Are The World recording: Leave your ego at the door. Perhaps we were reading some of these 140 words or less incorrectly, but there was the occasional whiff of showboating. Thankfully, there was the SCMP’s Andrew Hawkins who kept things simple, to the point, and was almost the ARC’s designated communications person.
Thinking about this racing conference, our minds went walkies as we thought to ourselves, Has it already been one whole year since the ARC landed in Hong Kong where much was said and discussed, where there was a “healthy exchange of ideas” and everyone returned to home base and got back to emptying out their various In trays? Time flies, but how much do conferences like these, where many are caught up in the moment and believe they are in the midst of something that’s going to rock the world, really accomplish when everyone is back on terra firma and away from running up the hill with the blissed out tribe of junket revellers? Just asking.
Posted in Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, The horse racing industry, WINFRIED ENGELBRECHT-BRESGES
Tagged ARF, Asian Racing Federation, Facebook, HKJC, horse racing industry, Jay Z, McCartney, RADIOHEAD, Simon Fuller, Tim Cook, White Stripes, Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, YouTube
By Hans Ebert
Action really speaks louder than words, especially when it comes to sports, and even more so when that sport is horse racing. We can write, tweet, blog and talk about this and that jockey, and how they’re the best in the world- riders like Ryan Moore, Silvestre de Sousa and Joao Moreira, all three currently riding and competing against each other in Hong Kong. But when actually watching them in action, even on a rain-sodden Happy Wednesday aboard horses hardly of Group status, there’s the realisation right in front of your eyes as to why they are so much in demand, and why they are considered the best. There’s a privilege- and pride- in seeing them together on the one race track.
At a time when the brilliance of Joao Moreira was turning Hong Kong racing into a regular one-man magic show and one-trick pony, the HKJC made a strategic decision: they called in for world-class reinforcements- Moore and de Sousa- to bring in some extra flair and make things more competitive. Though in Hong Kong on short-term licenses, and making almost cameo appearances, it’s working.
Posted in DAVID FERRARIS, HAPPY WEDNESDAY, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, JOAO MOREIRA, JOHN MOORE, JOHN SIZE, The horse racing industry, zac purton
Tagged andre fabre, David Ferraris, Derek Leung, Gregory Benoist, HKJC, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Joao Moreira, Keith Yeung, Peace And Prosperity, Richard Fourie, Ryan Moore, Silvestre de Sousa, the Jockey Challenge, Vincent Cheminaud, Vincent Ho
Apart from some race goers having to fork out $11 for a plate of chips, the Chinese Race Day last Saturday at Randwick was a commendable initiative. It was, at least, a start-off point to try and expand the consumer pie…and dim sum table in an increasingly ethnically diverse society, where the impact of Chinese culture and investment is profound.
With cash-rich Chinese, as individuals and businesses in Australia, taking advantage of a favourable economic investment environment, and more and more of these big business players becoming horse owners and making an indelible mark on the present and future of Australian racing, it is only natural that marketing the sport to Chinese audiences will become more and more important. And as has been proven elsewhere, and where such commercial and marketing strategies have succeeded, nothing beats having Chinese celebrities present at these events to give them a unique and special cultural flavour. They provide that all-important thing called “face”- and media attention. They are magnets and walking billboards for any event. Racing, after all, IS Entertainment in its purest and most literal sense.