“CRISIS” AVERTED: “YOUR” TWITTER IS NOT CHANGING . . .FOR NOW‏

By Jenny Bridle

According to a report from that stellar “news” aggregator Buzzfeed yesterday, Twitter was about to make a fundamental change and provide to tweets based on a new algorithm. In the end, the report suggested, Twitter was going to morph into another Facebook.

This apparently imminent algorithm change was the basis for #RIPtwitter trending worldwide. The good thing about this trend is it showed once again the power of the Twitter community. On the negative side​ it sadly demonstrated that people believe Buzzfeed is a reliable news source. ​This fact is so problematic that we could write an entire blog about ​it. But anyways . . .

Emergency Kittens

Before everyone completely lost their minds over what Twitter was allegedly planning, they should have made sure they were getting their information direct from the horse’s mouth. The closest anyone had to that was Twitter’s official blog from a couple of days ago when the company announced that it would be making some changes to help users sort and prioritize what they see. And, these changes were being made to improve user experience, particularly for new and potential users.

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THE ILLEGAL AND FROTHY ISSUE

By Keyser Soze

MOMENTUM SHIFT ON ILLEGAL BETTING…

FROTHY ISSUE 1

The timely and unambiguous closing statement of last week’s Asian Racing Conference by Asian Racing Federation (ARF) Chairman and Hong Kong Jockey Club Chief Executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges proposing the establishment of a regional task force to develop an ARF Anti-Illegal Betting Strategy, is an overwhelmingly positive step in the right direction.

FROTHY ISSUE 2

Significantly, Engelbrecht-Bresges acknowledged that “individual nations alone acting alone will not be able to stem the tide”, and that “this will be a multi-pronged strategy incorporating research and intelligence, media, government submissions, links with law enforcement agencies and identification of key influencers”, similar to the sentiments we expressed last week on addressing this global threat to the integrity of sport.

Racing jurisdictions can no longer choose to play the role of bystanders and expect other agencies to shoulder responsibilities for dealing with the twin problems of the impacts of off-shore illegal betting operators, and corruption and race fixing. They enjoy a symbiotic relationship. One trail inevitably leads to the other.

This holistic approach to addressing the problem, one which transcends the narrow boundary of racing, and has, in recent times, morphed into something akin to a “super virus” affecting every popular competitive sport which attracts wagering and offers substantial, and at times, grossly excessive financial rewards for sustained elite performance, is attracting the attention and gathering support among many key decision makers and respected public opinion influencers in the community.

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ATC, NORM SNOWDEN WRITES TO SAY THAT HE’S FINALLY HAPPY! WELL, ALMOST.

Smiley button

I can’t remember the last time I went to the races in Sydney and was really looking forward to spending Australia Day at Royal Randwick, until the edict was issued – only the new stand will be open, the Officials Stand will be closed, so I didn’t bother.

Having just moved and in dire need of a relaxing day at the races, I decided to accept the bait to view the new Rosehill Gardens refurbishment.

In short, I have to say, FINALLY, they got it, almost right.

No ifs or buts, a superb effort.

I snapped up a free table in T J’s Champagne Bar, left my form guide and selections for the day, written on notepaper all on the table, indicating that someone was sitting at the table and headed off, starting downstairs, in what I call the dungeon – excellent and well laid out.

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

NEEDED: WORLDWIDE GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION TO GET SPORTS- AND RACING- BACK ON TRACK!

WHEN ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

INTERVENTION ISSUE 1

“The blight must stop”, declared Fairfax’s Sunday Age editorial’s opening line on cheating, drugs and corruption in sport. Whilst a true and accurate reflection of a restless and increasingly angry community comprising a diverse sports loving fan base desperate for a circuit breaker to be effective, this opening line, and the sentiments in what is an excellent editorial, must quickly evolve into a “war cry” which forces those who can answer the challenge to do so. Without delay.

INTERVENTION ISSUE 2

There’s not a sport which has escaped the insidious influence of corruption and manipulation. It’s no different to dealing with an addiction of any type. Whatever the sport matters little. Sports administrators and their Boards MUST first recognize and admit they have a problem. And they all do. Then, and only then, can they be taken seriously by law enforcement and crime stopping agencies and Governments. Only then will they have a fighting chance of getting community support to properly fund and resource the uphill battle against criminality in sport.

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THE ARF, THE ARC AND THE PASSAGE TO INDIA?

By Hans Ebert

passage to india

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.

102-Man-of-Steel-quotes

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.

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HORSE RACING COULD TAKE A PAGE FROM THE BIG SHORT

By Jenny Bridle

Stars

When you’re in the racing business, it’s never far from your thoughts especially these days as the industry attempts to reinvigorate itself and find new and younger fans. That’s what happened this week when a trip to the movies on a cold winter’s night brought us to “The Big Short” starring Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, Brad Pitt, and Ryan Gosling. If you’re in racing, you will walk out of that movie asking, “How come we can’t do this?”

why not

One of the challenges horse racing has always faced is that playing and winning can seem very difficult, especially to newbies. And worse, some might even say that sitting at the track with hardcore players – who are often not very social or interested in sharing what they know — can be, well, kind of boring.

Britney

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THE BIBS AND BOBS AND SPINNING OUTTA CONTROL ISSUE

By Keyser Soze in Australia

MORE SYCOPHANTIC PROPAGANDA ON NSW RACING

BIBS AND BOBS 1

He’s NSW racing’s “reliable man”. The NSW limited rag – the Daily Smellygraph’s Racing Editor Ray Thomas, always ready and willing to hit the keyboard and talk up and “spin” NSW Racing and interview one of his favourites, and ours for that matter, Racing NSW CEO Peter Vlundies.

“Industry making giant strides” was the title of Ray Thomas’ piece greeting the diminishing number of racing fans flicking through the sports pages of the News Limited rag last Friday, with the accompanying subtext in bold: “RACING IN THIS STATE IS PROFITING FROM THE VISION AND HARD WORK OF SOME DEDICATED OFFICIALS WHO HAVE ALWAYS BELIEVED IN THE PRODUCT”.

BIBS AND BOBS 2

One could easily be forgiven for believing that the growing number of critics of NSW racing – the majority of the “50,000” participants in NSW racing- were permanently defying their doctors orders and refusing to take their prescription medications. How else could they fail to acknowledge the utopian state of racing in NSW?

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THE HKJC: BRINGING MORE MAGIC TO THE WORLD OF HORSE RACING

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.

WORLD OF RACING 1

WORLD OF RACING 2

WORLD OF RACING 3

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.

WORLD OF RACING 4b

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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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ENTER THE CHINESE FACE OF RB ENTERTAINMENT 888

CHINESE CELEBRITIES 1

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.

撇除$11澳幣一碟抗爹薯條不說,上星期六在Rankwick的中國賽馬日其實是一個相當不錯的開始,至少不會一成不變,外國的朋友開始懂得用筷子,心態亦懂得向著東方進發。

CHINESE CELEBRITIES 2

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.

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THE AUSTRALIAN RACING ISSUE

By Keyser Soze in Australia

A WISH LIST FOR AUSTRALIAN RACING IN 2016:

UNITY…

THE AUSTRALIAN RACING ISSUE 1

It’s now or never time for the big two – New South Wales and Victoria. With a peak national body for Australian racing a “mission impossible” if the two States could even collaborate and cooperate in key areas of race dates, handicapping, programing, setting the racing clock, uniform rules, prize money, marketing and promotion – just to name a handful- Australian racing just might be able to get its act together, get back on track, and ignite interest in a sport, which, like a patient diagnosed with a serious illness, needs immediate treatment to prevent it going into intensive care. Give Peace A Chance, people. Have a Bed-In, or go plant some acorns for peace. Anything except more warmongering.

THE AUSTRALIAN RACING ISSUE 2

As for Racing Australia, a “costume” change from its previous incarnation – the Australian Racing Board- it has done little to change the perception that the so-called national body is still a toothless tiger, despite the valiant efforts of our old mate “Toffee Tongue” to prove the cynics wrong.

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