FELIX COETZEE AND HIS TOP 20 CHAMPION HONG KONG HORSES (AND NEARLY MEETING AXL ROSE)

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

They would always say that he had a built-in clock in his head, which is why he was such a master of pace. Like his fellow South African jockeys -Jeff Lloyd, almost South African, and Basil Marcus, once Felix “The Cat” Coetzee was allowed to bowl along in front and dictate the pace of a race, it was Vaya Con Dios for those doing the chasing. And Hong Kong racing fans saw it time and again, especially on a leader like Egyptian Ra, which provided the affable yet disciplined tough task master with a Group winner at 50 by leading all the way in the 2009 Silver Jubilee Cup.

“Tony (Cruz) promised me a Group winner after I turned 50 which I thought was an impossibility, but he delivered,” says the rider, who still regrets just missing seeing his idol Axl Rose of Guns and Roses fame. “I was sitting in the hotel lobby for hours hoping to get a glimpse of him and I didn’t see him walk right past me.” This from a racing legend who has won in front of hundreds of thousands…At least I got him up onstage with Deep Purple.

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DOUGLAS WHYTE AND HIS LIST OF HONG KONG’S TOP 20 CHAMPION HORSES

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

When Douglas Whyte rode the first winner of the day at Sha Tin yesterday, it was one of those moments in time that made my mind wander. It was a lowly Class 5 event, but it was a reminder of not only everything Douglas Whyte has accomplished as a Group 1 winning jockey, but everything he has seen and quietly carries with him along with the way he has always conducted himself- with great professionalism. It’s a quiet dignity from a class act.

So, with the twentieth anniversary of The Handover being on July 1, when it came to asking someone to name their top 20 champion Hong Kong horses, the first person that came to mind was Douglas Whyte, the winner of the Hong Kong Jockey Premiership for thirteen consecutive years- a record that will stand forever- and who has ridden for the legend that was trainer Ivan Allan, plus David Hayes, John Size, John Moore,Tony Cruz and many others.

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HOW IS RACING REALLY GOING TO WIN?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

“Racing To Win”, that Cecil B DeMille of a production from the HKJC starring the Kim, Kourtney and Khloe of racing, is hardly riveting viewing, but, apparently, the programme has a loyal audience. Probably around 28, give or take five, as from what we know, those “racing uncles”, who are supposedly its staunchest fans, run for cover whenever they hear its name being mentioned for fear of being led astray.

As for the new generation of racing fans, they have zero idea of its existence as they no longer watch television whereas even navigating their way through websites has become too time consuming.

“Racing To Win” is not the Must View programme it once was when hosted by Robin Parke- and one day Parkie will be given the recognition he deserves for everything he brought to Hong Kong racing- and my old friend Lawrence Wadey, below, someone who’s always been burdened by his years of intellect at Cambridge.

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NIKE AND HORSE RACING: ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTE

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Some have said to just let it slide. Others have jumped up and down, done a little dance, and believed that this line of t-shirts to be the real deal and that Nike has, in some small way, entered the world of horse racing. Please.

Anyone who knows anything about Nike and its commitment to creativity would know that is not an authorised Nike product. It’s utter crap. Hopefully, having its brand equity ripped off will not deter Nike from breathing new life into horse racing through the marketing and sponsorship of the sport.

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Posted in Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, JOAO MOREIRA | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

HAPPY FATHERS DAY AND “GAMBLING MAD ASIANS”

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

It’s Father’s Day. And so the paternal thing to do is not mention to the family- the former or the current one- that this special day will be spent at the races in Shatin, or the more politically correct, Sha Tin.

This is where so many people get so many things wrong about Hong Kong, horse racing in Hong Kong and us “gambling mad Asians”. How many years have we read about “gambling mad Asians”? This writer has seen this term for over twenty years. It’s not only insulting, it’s a journalistic cop out, and, somehow, associated mainly with horse racing. And that’s just wrong.

The truth is that “Asians”- and Chinese are not “Asians”, ok?- might be driven about making money, and once this is done, turning money into more and more money, but through investments, particularly in property, locally, and always with some owned abroad in Canada, Australia, and, more recently, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. Like the hostility between Hong Kong Chinese and Mainland Chinese, and the difference between being from Beijing and being from Shanghai, it’s something that won’t be understood by those who don’t get out much and smell the dim sum.

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WHY ONLINE LAWS WILL BAR HORSE RACING’S CYBER BULLIES

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Andy Warhol predicted that in the future, everyone will have their fifteen minutes of fame. Turns out the Future is now.

Not that Katy Perry and Taylor Swift want more fame, but there they were earlier this week with the former promoting her new record whereas Ms Swift, known for her conga line of celebrity boyfriends, and then writing about them when inevitably dumped, was making news that she had made peace with music streaming service Spotify and was releasing all her product through them. In other words, she was hijacking former bestie Katy Perry’s moment.

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Posted in DOUGLAS WHYTE, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, JOAO MOREIRA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE HKJC AND THAT ADRENALINE RUSH

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Sitting there last night, one couldn’t help thinking that with all the technology available, why there couldn’t be a virtual tour of Adrenaline, the venue at Happy Valley Racecourse, which, since its re-opening a few short years ago, has answered the question of what to do during those twentysomething minutes between races.

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MAKING HORSE RACING REALLY REALLY SOCIABLE

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Listening the other day to a discussion on TABradio, Darren McAullay, the excellent race caller in Western Australia, and not one to mince words, was straight to the point: As far as he’s concerned, he’s not exactly a huge fan of social media. He’s no doubt seen its dark side led by the lost tribes of the Twitter trolls.

The role of social media is something that has been the subject of many conversations recently, most of it prompted by the oafish tweeting by the Orange Julius in the White House, the acts of evil that has all but torn this world apart, some of it to do with just how much it’s affecting how we choose to live our daily lives, and how it’s crept into all sports, including horse racing.

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James Mathers on the leadership issues affecting racing in Australia

Dear Hans

Thank you for your very good article on leadership in the racing industry published last Friday. An outstanding article.

In recent days, I have been pilloried on Twitter because of my criticism of the lack of leadership in the Australian racing industry. Understandably, many people are sick of my criticism, and guess what, so am I.

However the facts speak for themselves. I outline below a list of some of the serious issues which have plagued the industry over the past 5 to 10 year, as follows:

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

IS LACK OF REAL LEADERSHIP STOPPING THE PROGRESS OF HORSE RACING?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Not knowing where to start this as it covers ground previously covered here, let’s just jump straight into the middle by saying that another problem with horse racing as an industry is that it often forgets, or has never actually bothered to think that it has a certain image to uphold. In today’s consumer driven world, horse racing has no “brand equity.”

Unlike the saying how, What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, the pockmarks that pop up almost continually, and, let’s not be coy here, especially in Australia, impacts the entire horse racing brand. And the more those so-called leaders of the industry understand this, it might have a chance of surviving. Raising prize money only creates an even more elitist sport. It’s hardly “innovative”. It’s lazy thinking. It’s lousy leadership.

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