THE GREAT, THE BAD AND THE FUGLIES ISSUE

BART: THE END OF ONE OF RACING’S GREATEST ERAS

FUGLIES ISSUE 1

Could there ever be sufficient superlatives to adequately describe the extraordinary life and achievements of James Bartholomew Cummings?

Twelve victories in Australia’s greatest iconic race – the Melbourne Cup- standing out like a beacon in a career littered with glory, encompassing 268 Group One wins, 32 Derbies, 24 Oaks, 7 Caulfield Cups, 5 Cox Plates and Doncaster Handicaps and 13 Australian Cups. Does it get any better than that at the elite level of horse racing?

Bart Cummings made the Melbourne Cup his own, and in the modern era, “the Cup” and the “Cups King” were inseparable. Fittingly, just as the “race that stops a nation” does so each year on the first Tuesday in November, last Sunday and into the week, the nation stopped to pay its own tributes and respects to Bart Cummings.

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THE BLACK AND WHITE OF HORSE RACING: HOW DID WE GET HERE?

By Jenny Bridle

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

Django On A Horse

The recent Quentin Tarantino film, Django Unchained, tells the story of a freed slave turned cowboy bounty hunter in the American South of the 1850s. While the movie was popular, grossing almost $500 million worldwide, it was criticized for gratuitous violence and excessive use of the “n word.” Regarding the violence, this is a Quentin Tarantino movie – violence is a central part of every story he tells. And, while the “n word” is hard to even type out, it is a word that was used in the South to describe slaves and freemen. Aside from the violence and the “n word,” perhaps the challenge for some viewers was the same as for some of the characters in the film.

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THE YIN AND YANG AND HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF HONG KONG AND HKIR WEEK (Part 7)‏

As we all know by now, Hong Kong is a city of contrasts that blends the old with the new, the big with the small and the freedom to either take a walk on the wild side with those coloured girls going, “Shoop de doop de doop”, or go upmarket with some Uptown Girls. Especially contrasting are the variety of restaurants within walking distance of each other- a veritable international buffet of choices within close proximity of each other.

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Frankly, when hitting one of those rare moments when we are so spoilt for choice, especially during lunchtime, that we suffer brain freeze trying to think of where to go, we either walk to the Peak Cafe Bar (G/F, 9-13 Shelley Street, SOHO, Central, T:+852 2140 6877) or the nearby Yorkshire Pudding (6 & 8 Staunton Street, SOHO, Central, T: +852 2536 9968). Both have their plus points. The Peak Cafe Bar offers you the best people watching venue in Central where one can watch people going up the escalator onto Caine Road and some of the most attractive and fittest women in town going down to the Pure Fitness health centre for their daily work out. You can catch them going downhill, and coming up, all sweaty and hot and bothered after their workout.

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WHAT IF HORSE RACING ENTERED THE DRAGON’S DEN?

By Jenny Bridle

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

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Anyone with an entrepreneurial streak may wonder what it would be like to appear on one of those reality shows where start-ups pitch their business ideas to a group of venture capitalists looking for new investments. In several countries, including Canada, the best one of these kinds of shows is called Dragon’s Den.

During each episode, the “Dragons” ask about valuations, sales volume, product placement and advertising, amongst other things. But everyone really has to start at the beginning and answer that time-worn entrepreneur’s “big question”:

What business are you in?

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Posted in Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, The horse racing industry, www.fasttrack.hk | Tagged , | Leave a comment

WHAT COULD THE NEW HK RACING SEASON HOLD?

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

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After a two month sabbatical and siesta, the gates fly open on Sunday at Shatin Racecourse and we gallop into the 2015-2016 racing season. For many, these two months have been a long and arduous wait- and not only for racing fans in Hong Kong.

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Like Will Paladin introducing his “Have Gun Will Travel” name card, racing in Hong Kong travels around the world today with some of its most loyal fans being overseas.

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Posted in brett prebble, casper fownes, DOUGLAS WHYTE, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, JOAO MOREIRA, JOHN MOORE, JOHN SIZE, The horse racing industry, www.fasttrack.hk, zac purton | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HORSE RACING: ONE MAN’S PERSONAL JOURNEY (THAT HAS COME TO AN END)

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Seriously now, what was there about horse racing that first attracted us to the sport and keeps us in it with a vice-like grip as if in the throes of sexual activity with the heat turned on to a maximum high?

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Is it the high of winning that often takes us into an even greater high than Dennis Hopper as Frank Booth inhaling amyl nitrate in “Blue Velvet”?

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Posted in Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, JOAO MOREIRA, The horse racing industry, zac purton | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE HOPELESSLY HOPING ISSUE

NEW CHANNEL CARRIES PLENTY OF HOPE

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Saturday’s Melbourne race meeting at Caulfield carries significance which cannot be understated with the launch of the much-anticipated free-to-air racing only channel – Channel 78 (aka Racing.Com), a joint venture between Racing Victoria and the Seven Network.

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There is a lot of stake for Victorian racing and, down the track, for Australian racing, contingent on the success or failure of this bold new initiative. At this early stage, the omens are good for racing’s only free-to-air-channel. It has a separate Board with the Seven Network providing a much-needed media expertise component, and, unlike the failed TVN Board structure, does not have the corrosive inter-state element to deal with internally, which ultimately led to its demise.

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THE NEW HK RACING SEASON (AND THE CHALLENGES AHEAD)

The boys are back in town, and the well-known jockeying for rides have begun in earnest with the leading riders trying to get a jump start on everyone else, an exercise that can make it crowded at the top. Trackwork has started in earnest along with barrier trials, and the obligatory bai sun ceremonies to ask the gods for a successful new racing season.

Of course, to the average racing fan, they’ll be looking at the Batman and Spider-Man of Hong Kong racing- Joao Moreira and Zac Purton- to dominate the season as they did the last with the usual group of trainers- Moore, Size, Fownes and Cruz- again, saddling up the most winners. Those are a given, but where could there be some surprises as it can get both lonely and predictable at the top?

THE NEW HK RACING SEASON 1

With his last-minute reprieve to stay on and continue his riding career in Hong Kong as the stable jockey for Manfred “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” Man, that swordsman extraordinaire and brilliant rider when in the mood- Gerald Mosse- is certain to make his presence felt.

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Posted in brett prebble, casper fownes, DOUGLAS WHYTE, HAPPY WEDNESDAY, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, JOAO MOREIRA, JOHN MOORE, JOHN SIZE, The horse racing industry, Tony Cruz, WINFRIED ENGELBRECHT-BRESGES, zac purton | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A WALK ON THE WEIRD SIDE: GETTING THE MOST OUT OF HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL WEEK (PART 6)

CINTA-J

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Shop G-4, Malaysia Bldg, 69 Jaffe Rd., Wan Chai
T: +852 2529 6622

One of the oldest restaurants in Hong Kong, and certainly the only reminder of Wanchai’s colourful past, Cinta-J is a very popular hangout for working girls from the Philippines before their long grind starts, older expat guys with their Filipina girlfriends and wives along with some musos performing around the area. The menu is extensive with Malaysian, Indonesian and Filipino favourites- Adobo, some of the best Satay and Beef Rendang in town, a very good Nasi Goreng, and various curries.

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In these Racingb*tch Short Cuts: Streaming, Sgt Bilko and The Big Kevinski

THE ‘LIVE’ STREAMING OF RACES: WHY PAY? WHERE ARE THE INCENTIVES TO WATCH?

Streaming of horse racing

When the app called AUSRacing was blocked last year, many of us outside Oz and New Zealand shed a little tear. After all, for absolutely free, for over two years, we could watch on our smartphones every city and provincial race in Australia, seven days a week, tune into all the offline chatter when there were commercial breaks whereas the overnight odds and tips shown were deadly accurate and- again- free. How did the people behind the app make any money? Perhaps they didn’t? Why did they make the app available? A Robin Hood complex?

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Alas, proudly showing the app to an aghast Bruce Mann during his very early days with TVN, no doubt brought an end to this service. This leads to the ‘live’ streaming of races and, more often than not, having to pay for this service. But why pay? Surely, the streaming of races benefits wagering- and if so, why should anyone pay for this, especially, when, at least, in the US and North America, the streaming of races is cobbled together with intrusive advertising and pathetic picture quality? But the quality of service aside, horse racing better understand that in this day and age of Anonymous, Wikileaks and characters like Kim Dotcom and the ease in which hackers are able to break into any industry like the copyright-based music, television and film industries, where today every new TV series and even film can be downloaded for free from sites like Pirate’s Bay, free porn sites are at everyone’s, well, fingertips with online dating site Ashley Madison recently having its data base stolen and made public, the subscription based ‘live’ streaming of races is a flawed business model.

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