Finally, someone has realized that females are race-goers, too, and we applaud those who have produced this magazine with Australia’s First Lady Of Racing on the cover.
Sure, Gai Waterhouse has her critics, but nothing speaks louder than success and Lady GaiGai has beaten the odds in a male-dominated sport- at least for the time being- and with a CV many can only dream about.
We’ve been beaten by lengths in producing a magazine like this- but happy to lose this time- as some of the most passionate race-goers and horse owners in Hong Kong are females- not to mention racing personalities like Sarika Choy, Nicole Purton, Kit Lee, Jo McKinnon and Jo McKinnon- a great cast for a television show.
Any visit to the Beer Garden, the Gallery or Adrenaline on any Happy Wednesday at Happy Valley Racecourse will see that those watching the horses, deciding on their choices, far more open to new technology, and putting money- and not nickel and dime bets either- are the new and next generation of regular race-goer and future horse owner- the majority of them being females.
Anyone who hasn’t been to these venues and yet pontificate about the power of the punt thinking this is the exclusive domain of the rabid hardcore male punter, well, ignorance is bliss and comments like this from the peanut gallery by muppets emphasize and underline this.
Moving away from those Happy Wednesday night, look at events like Sa Sa Ladies Day at Shatin and the bevy of hands-on owners like the extremely savvy, creative- and gorgeous- Mrs Stephen Lo, who, in her own right as Canny Leung is a well- known lyricist and poet.
The role of women in racing is still almost a token gesture despite some very knowledgable racing professionals.
There is, for example, Francesca Cumani, who, despite her intelligence, her racing DNA being the daughter of trainer Luca Cumani, and host of CNN’s Winning Post, is often talked about for her striking good looks.
In Australia, where there are so many ladies in every aspect of the sport, trying to find a female executive in a racing club is a futile exercise.
The Old Boys Club carries on regardless- and is accepted as a given.
But why, especially when one sees the mismanagement that has seen racing in Australia lose money every day and an industry in very dire straits?
Terms like “eye candy”, female jockeys posing for cheesecake calendars and a male- dominated racing media, doesn’t help.
The question is this: Have women in racing thrown in the towel and happy to play second fiddle, or are they being passed over as those in seats of power are happy with the way things are and not prepared to disrupt the current status quo?
At least in Hong Kong and, especially, in China, where Women Rule and Helen Reddy is still singing, I Am Woman, the role of ladies calling the shots in the racing world is already happening when it comes to ownership, racing syndicates, wagering, the knowledge and use of new technology in the sport- and having their horse racing husbands by the short and curlies.
It’s good to see with the future in mind.