HAS RACE CALLER ANTHONY MANTON GONE AND SOLD HIS SOUL?

By Hans Ebert

When does a reality show become an unreality show? Guess when one of those appearing in one is popular young race caller Anthony Manton.

How does a race caller become part of a reality show called “Married At First Sight”? Guess when the race caller is Anthony Manton.

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THE SEIZE THE DAY ISSUE

By Keyser Soze

RACING’S “SEIZE THE DAY” OPPORTUNITY

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Call it whatever you like – a red letter day, a defining moment, an opportunity of opportunities, let your imagination run riot with descriptions, but last Saturday’s racing in both Sydney and Melbourne is a day Australian racing cannot choose to escape from or ignore. It would do so at its peril.

If one X-factor wasn’t enough, last Saturday produced two – while the Magic Man Joao Moreira weaved his God-given magical talent at Caulfield on a beautiful sunny afternoon, up north, the amazing talent that is Winx brushed aside the gloom and incessant rainfall at a sodden Randwick and kept her record breaking bandwagon rolling with her seventeenth consecutive win.

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IT WAS ONE OF THOSE DAYS AT THE RACES…

By Hans Ebert

Even the Marx Brothers would have thought that last Sunday’s Day At The Races at Shatin bordered on a surreal mix of weirdness, tinged with sadness, and a patch of flatness, where it just didn’t matter who won, who lost, and what the end results were.

Maybe it was just the mental strain of hearing about The Orange One in the White House and trying to make sense where all this “fake news” and political amateurism is taking us, while from a racing point of view, following the races at Caulfield the day before and the exhibition gallop by the mighty Winx at Rosehill, something seemed to be missing. Perhaps one can have too much of a good thing, or too much of the same thing. Maybe.

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Posted in Australian horse racing industry, DOUGLAS WHYTE, GERARD MOSSE, HAPPY WEDNESDAY, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, JOAO MOREIRA, The horse racing industry, Tony Cruz | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

THE AMBUSHED BY EVEREST ISSUE

WHEN RIVALRY IS AMBUSHED BY VINDICTIVENESS

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In Politics, Disunity is Death. It’s the same for any commercial sector or sporting code. In the dark and distant past, rivalries in sport were often marked by vindictiveness and played out in the worst possible manner where the victor frequently sought to annihilate and humiliate an opponent.

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Fast forward to the present day and it is not too difficult to identify the sports which are powering ahead with their growing fan bases across all demographics, income groups and genders, underwriting their financial successes. These are the sports which are cashed up with literally a “no vacancy” sign flashing brightly at commercial organizations armed with bulging cheque books to ink their association with success.

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FELIX AND KAT: A TALE OF TWO COETZEES

Hans Ebert

There’ve been a number of happy Happy Wednesday Moments, but this one goes straight to the top of the tree as it brings together two generations of a racing family- Felix Coetzee, below, the brilliant, soft spoken, South African rider, who will always be associated with the great Hong Kong sprinter Silent Witness, and his twentysomething daughter Kat Coetzee, who grew up around horse racing, but picked up a guitar instead of a saddle and expresses herself with words like “epic” and “awesome”.

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Though now retired from race riding, “The Cat” is actively involved with the HKJC in mentoring local apprentices Kei Chiong, Jack Wong, Dylan Mo, and soon, Matthew “Boom Boom” Poon, when he returns from his “tour of duty” in Adelaide, plus helping improve the Club’s work riders and imparting his vast knowledge and experience wherever it’s needed.

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THE EVEREST: A REVIEW OF ONE MAN’S CRUSADE TO BRING INNOVATION TO HORSE RACING

By Hans Ebert

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Over the years, many have made movies about horses, and characters in horse racing, and all the complex characters involved in the Sport Of Kings and queens and sheikhs and charlatans and racing clubs and their various Sherpas and sheriffs and Dodge City and bullets and shooting blanks.

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Let’s never forget movies like “Seabiscuit” and “Phar Lap” and “Black Stallion”, the wonderful “Let It Ride” with even a walk-on role from one of us, where we were asked to just keep on walking and walking and walking. Some of us are still walking with no direction of home.

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THE THREE AMIGOS GO TO SHATIN AND ALL OVER THE PLACE

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Have you missed us, muchachos? The Three Amigos have been holidaying with our favourite señoritas in our luxurious hacienda in Sri Lanka where we went upcountry to Nuwara Elya and watched the local gauchos ride at the recently opened Sri Lanka Turf Club. Yeee ha!

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Though when the British colony was known as Ceylon, Sri Lanka was one of the first countries in Asia to hold horse racing meetings, we still hadn’t seen such Cisco Kid and Pancho riding styles since those surreal days in the Nineties when a local cowboy like “Rambo” WH Tse rode in Hong Kong and threw grenades at other riders and used a bullwhip to get the most out of his rides. Rambo Tse would not have been a poster boy for PETA.

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Posted in Australian horse racing industry, dennis yip, DOUGLAS WHYTE, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, JOAO MOREIRA, JOHN SIZE, The horse racing industry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A NOD IS AS GOOD AS A WINX ISSUE

TWEET OF THE DAY


IS RACING ITS OWN WORST ENEMY?

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It is stating the bleeding obvious that sport, globally, is dealing with a multitude of demons – from match fixing to drugs abuse, to the insidious influence of criminals, to serious behavioural issues. With the rampant use and abuse of social media and its ascendancy as a communications medium in an environment where technology has transformed life forever, sport has been forced to nuke its operational model and redefine its strategy to not just remain relevant, but to grow and infiltrate the hearts and minds of a relentlessly demanding and challenging society.

For sports, of all types, it is as simple as transposing Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Sport is undergoing its own phase of “survival of the fittest”. It is being played out before our own eyes. The irony is that despite all the regular posturings about the so-called sophisticated society that we frequently remind ourselves that we are living in, the participants and members who make up certain sporting communities keep failing abysmally to exercise their “duty of care” to adapt, protect and grow their sports. And, if the altitude doesn’t get the better of you, climb Everest.

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There is a stark and very obvious contrast between the winners and losers in the diverse and cluttered world of sports. The winners, and to name a few of them – the various football codes, cricket, women’s sports of just about any description, are powering ahead. They have a common blueprint – with few exceptions. They are well administered by men and women who are single-mindedly committed to the success of the codes and sports which they administer and manage. These are fearless and decisive men and women-calculated risk takers, who thrive on applying their leadership skills to create a compelling and seductive environment for the fans who ultimately determine the success or failure of a sport. They eat challenge for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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Posted in Australian horse racing industry, BLACK CAVIAR, HAPPY WEDNESDAY, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, Peter V'landys, Tony Cruz | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HORSE RACING: THE NEW WAY FORWARD

By Hans Ebert

Often, and recently, more and more often, one has to wonder how many in horse racing truly understand what really are “good initiatives” for the sport, and what is breakthrough creativity and effective, strategic marketing to take things further. This type of questioning might just offer up some reasons why horse racing is struggling its position as a mainstream popular sport.

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Racing must operate from a position of strength and respect, which has been claimed by its competitors who understand the dynamics of creativity and innovation. This is what a society and its younger, and spoilt for choice generation demand. The truth hurts, but this is a fact: Horse racing is the Rodney Dangerfield Of Sports. Guess if drinking from that half full glass, this could be seen as being “niche”.

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Not to be a naysayer who can criticise but offer no solutions- that’s a job for some in horse racing’s twitterverse, especially when they’re having a meltdown and tweeting through their pockets- but having been in the advertising and music industries and having cut my teeth on everything from launching McDonald’s in Hong Kong and Mainland China to working with and marketing artists like Norah Jones, Bowie, Gorillaz, Robbie, Coldplay etc, what I’m saying is, Convince me.

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Posted in Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, JOAO MOREIRA | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

THE BACK WITH A VENGEANCE ISSUE

By Hans Ebert

BACK WITH EXTRA BITE (AND MORE RELISH)

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CAN RACING SURVIVE THE CHALLENGE OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER?

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It’s just little over a month since we farewelled 2016, and yet it seems so long ago. Perhaps when historians analyse 2016, they will come to the conclusion that 2016 was a year when the world changed dramatically. Think of the two most significant events – Brexit, and yes, that man Donald Trump. Never in one’s wildest dreams and darkest moments could the Brexit-Trump quinella been predicted. Not unless Nostradamus made his second coming.

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Posted in Australian horse racing industry, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, Peter V'landys, Racing NSW, The horse racing industry, WINFRIED ENGELBRECHT-BRESGES | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment