WHEN DID THE ONLINE WORLD TAKE OVER THE REAL WORLD

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

It’s tough to absorb it all. It’s constantly being on overload and grappling to simplify things. And even if one were to get rid of the debris cluttering up our personal lives and too close to comfort, there are those outside forces that force themselves in and which manage to effect and impact daily lives. Rarely do these impact our lives positively, and there’s always the fear that something will trigger such negativity that you end up walking down that tunnel again- the one with no light at the end.

While some of us are trying to come to grips with the death of singer-songwriter and musician Chris Cornell, which we now know was suicide through hanging, and a report that the tranquilliser Ativan was involved, comes the absolute horror and sadness and darkness where a bomb went off after an Ariana Grande concert- a bomb targeted at the young singer’s fans- mainly very young girls, many probably attending their first pop concert, with their whole lives ahead of them. And now they’re gone and we’re left wondering about those who managed to survive this depraved act of evil and how they will be forever scarred, how this will affect the young career of Ariana Grande, and how we manage to carry on knowing what we know, but at a loss to find a solution.

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HONG KONG RACING AND LOOKING AT THE BIG PICTURE

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

While Derek Leung with 23 winners on board at the moment continues to focus on winning the annual Tony Cruz Award that is given to the season’s most successful local rider, racing at Sha Tin on Sunday served up a glimpse of what we might expect to see next season…and what might prove to be this season’s ongoing on-course horse opera.

It’s hard to tell how it’s happened, but we’re glad it has: 10-pound claiming apprentice Dylan Mo, who many thought would never make the grade, has turned things around, and is not only riding with a great deal more aggression, strength, and confidence, he’s in demand by almost every stable. Above all, he’s riding winners.

On Sunday, he made light work in winning on the John Moore-trained Richcity Fortune with computer syndicates on Overload backing what looked a certainly on the handicaps and the way the yielding track was playing: Suiting those up on the speed and going like the clappers.

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Posted in DOUGLAS WHYTE, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, JOAO MOREIRA, JOHN MOORE, The horse racing industry, zac purton | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BEING IN HORSE RACING IS TO WIN, RIGHT?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

There’s a new kid in town in Hong Kong- and to horse racing- and she’s shaking things up without even knowing it. Or does she know exactly what she’s doing? It’s too early to tell, but it’s been a very long time since we’ve come across someone with such a long winning streak. Someone with such arrogant confidence it’s been known to leave grown men, and many whose conversations revolve around the sport, gobsmacked. It’s not everyday, someone gets up and leaves a table with a charmingly honest, “Sorry, but it’s been two hours and all you people have talked about over dinner has been horse racing. It’s very boring. I’m going home to watch BBC Lifestyle.”

As for her winning streak, this started around ten months ago when reading the form guide for the first time. Why, I don’t know. Maybe it was opening her own Telebet account. Maybe it’s her competitive streak.The turning point was taking the horse Multivictory one out in her first ever Six Up bet at odds of almost 80 to 1 as she thought A.S.Cruz was riding the horse.

In actuality, the winning rider was battling local jockey Alvin Ng with Tony A.S.Cruz being the trainer. But having met Tony with me, not knowing how to read the form guide, and thinking he was the jockey, she wanted to back him, and so had asked in shorthand, “Multivictory: Tony Cruz?” to which my reply was a nonchalant, “Yeah.” Little did either of us realise that Multivictory would lead all the way and win, and in so doing, win her a Six Up worth well over a million dollars.

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

TIME FOR SOME EXECUTIVE ACTION, RACING CLUBS…

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

There’s a wonderful recording by the late Billy Preston, the only musician to be credited on a Beatles recording- he played keyboards on “Get Back”- called “That’s The Way God Planned It” and which is on constant Repeat these last few days. Why? First, whether the god person planned it or not, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, Bernard “The Plodder” Saundry, former CEO of Racing Victoria, returned to horse racing as Chairman of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing.

The next day, Simon Love, the low key CEO of the VRC, resigned from his post “with immediate effect”- but will stay on until, yes, an “interim CEO” is named. Please. One can already hear what the cynics are saying. Cynics aside, surely it wouldn’t have taken brilliant administrative skills for the VRC to have seen this coming, or knowing it was on the cards, and have its ducks in a row? But, then again, when there are no ducks, it’s called a lame duck organisation.

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Posted in Australian horse racing industry, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, The horse racing industry | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

SATURDAY AT SHA TIN AND LESSONS TO BE LEARNED

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

“Maybe the jockeys are tired, as are the trainers, and the rainy weather and humidity didn’t help matters. If it was a sunny day, you might feel differently.”

A junior member of the HKJC team was trying to put a positive spin on things and explain the reason, or reasons, for the disinterest or disappointment by many loyal local racing fans, myself included, in the race meeting- the product- that was served up at Shatin yesterday.

Yes, Saturday race meetings in Hong Kong have, more often than not, been seen as ho hum affairs that one can either take or leave. But the lack of “vibes” yesterday, and the ‘live’ broadcast, reminiscent of what some of us were once subjected to from, jeez, Macau, should not be shrugged off as “one of those days”, with the track conditions criticised by some as one of the worst seen in a long time.

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Posted in Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, JOAO MOREIRA, The horse racing industry, zac purton | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

THE DAZZLING COMEBACK OF DARREN BEADMAN

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

It would be an understatement to say that many of us worried for Darren Beadman when, in 2012 in Hong Kong, a shocking fall off a horse that collapsed during a barrier trial, called time on what had been a spectacular career. He deserved more than to bow out of a sport for which he had given so much with life threatening injuries.

In Hong Kong, Darren Beadman was far more than being the “stable jockey” for trainer John Moore. Being the legendary rider that he was- definitely one of the greatest riders to emerge out of Australia- here was a knowledge horseman who came to Hong Kong in 2007, and played a much greater role in the success of the Moore yard than was obvious to the casual race goer. It was a real team effort when the partnership was in full flow with winners on some of Hong Kong’s greatest horses like Xtension, Collection, Viva Pataca, Able One and so many others.

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Posted in Australian horse racing industry, DARREN BEADMAN, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, JOHN MOORE, JOHN O'SHEA, Racing NSW, The horse racing industry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

MEET SIR SMILEY

By Robyn Louw


Callan Murray (photo: hamishNIVENPhotography)

South Africa’s Callan Murray, recently named as an emerging talent and predicted as ‘set for global stardom’ by the Thoroughbred Racing Commentary, seems to be fulfilling the prophecy with an invitation to join Hong Kong’s riding ranks. He will make his debut at Sha Tin on Sunday, 21 May 2017.

About Callan

Twenty year old Callan hails from the Johannesburg suburb of Kensington and was a keen motocross enthusiast. A chance suggestion from a family friend inspired him to apply for a place at the South African Jockey Academy.

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Rapper Dragon and that feeling of loss…

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

There are those days when nothing goes right. Then, it gets even worse. Sunday at Sha Tin was one of those days that had Bob Dylan singing, “It’s getting dark, too dark to see” in my head as the sky grew darker, and which signalled that it was time to head off with no direction of home.

Seeing Rapper Dragon break down during the running of the Champions Mile, and Joao Moreira quickly ease the brilliant galloper down was extremely hard to take. The fact that Moreira fulfilled his commitment to ride in the next race, but was so distraught that he had to leave the track after that, spoke volumes about the man and horseman that he is.

His very genuine emotions said much about every rider and their affinity with the horses they ride. Whether a Group 1 galloper, or one giving their all in the lower grades, riders don’t discriminate. These wonderful animals become closely intertwined with their lives. And often with our own lives by making us understand and respect this relationship. Perhaps it makes us come to grips with the complexities of our own personal relationships.

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Posted in Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, JOAO MOREIRA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER!” BUT DO YOU HAVE ONE?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Though loathe to use the word viral, Heineken has produced a commercial that has gone, well, viral. Why? Because it tackles a number of subjects that have created much of today’s divisive society- a timely piece of work that attempts to bring those with very different opinions and prejudices together to understand each other. Could the ending to the commercial have been more subtle? Possibly, but it’s still an effective and needed message that has touched the mainstream consciousness. And this breakthrough message has not come from politicians or the United Nations. It’s from a brand of beer.

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Posted in Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, JOAO MOREIRA | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

THE RACE FOR LEADERSHIP IN RACING IN AUSTRALIA

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Racing writer Shane Anderson recently tried his hand at writing a satirical piece on Peter V’landys, the CEO of Racing New South Wales, and seen by many as the Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Willy Wonka, and Kim Jong-un of Australian racing.

What was telling was Shane-O having to emphasise that this was only a wild and crazy stab at satire with the disclaimer, “Written with tongue firmly planted in cheek.” Oh, Shane-O, you naughty, naughty boy!

The number one rule when writing satire is not to spell out that something is satire. The disclaimer could even be seen as Shane-O being told to write something a tad critical about The Man Who Would Be King, and coming up with bibs and bobs, most of which have been read before elsewhere, when actually wanting desperately to remain in the good book of commandments of Brother Peter.

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Posted in Australian horse racing industry, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, Peter V'landys, The horse racing industry | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment