By Hans Ebert
It wasn’t meant to happen. It wasn’t in the script. Just eight runners and what many quite rightly described as looking like being a “lacklustre race”, at least on paper. And then magic struck along with its own form of neorealism.
We’ve come to expect and now almost demand the extraordinary from Joao Moreira, and he continues to deliver. Over and over again. As if recently riding eight winners at one meeting wasn’t enough, the brilliant Brazilian horseman turned the running of the Group 1 $20,000,000 Audemars Piguet QE11 Cup on its head and did cartwheels across the turf. And by so doing, he turned “lacklustre” into something truly memorable and amazing.
Posted in Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, JOAO MOREIRA, JOHN MOORE, The horse racing industry
Tagged Audemars Piguet QE11 Cup, Audemars Piguet QE11 Cup 2017, Eagle Way, Eastern Express, Joao Moreira, John Moore, Neorealism, Noriyuki Hori, Queen Mother Memorial Cup, Sha Tin, Sha Tin racecourse
By Frank Lee Trillington
It has been in the works for three years, but now with the soon-to-be opening in Colombo, Sri Lanka of the Sapphire Sri Lanka Gemstone Racing Club (SSLGRC) it’s all systems go with such ambitious plans that they make Peter V’landys’ Everest “concept” look like Tommy The Tank Engine. This is a racing club that really wants to took its horn and with absolutely no tunnel vision and a refusal to be derailed.
Let’s not forget that when horse racing started in Asia around 1860, it began in India, and what was then known as Ceylon- today, Sri Lanka. Both countries were the first outposts for journeymen Australian jockeys like Ted Fordyce aka The Railwayman. Fordyce ruled horse racing in both neighbouring countries, but Ceylon was where he became the equivalent to what Joao Moreira is today in Hong Kong.
Posted in Horse Racing, JOHN SIZE, Peter V'landys, The horse racing industry
Tagged andre fabre, Bill Nader, brian kan ping-chee, CHRIS WALLER, Darren Weir, Gai Waterhouse, Gary Ng, Island Paradise Elephant Sapphire Cup, Joao Moreira, John Didham, John Moore, John Size, Mahela Jayawardene, MICHELLE PAYNE, Mike De Kock, Peter V'landys, Royal Turf Club, Sapphire Sri Lanka Gemstone Racing Club, Simon Love, Sri Lanka, SSLGRC, Ted Fordyce, The Railwayman, Tim Cutler, Vinay Sapuradnekarnam, WH Rambo Tse
By Hans Ebert
It’s all been a bit quiet. It’s almost as if the sport needs some magic potion to rev up the Excitement Barometer. From speaking also to others, horse racing seems to be going through a bit of a lull these days. A dull patch. A vegetable garden of mush. “Horse racing attendance is in massive decline in Sydney” is something heard over and over again by some of the biggest supporters of the sport.
Winx aside, not even Peter V’landys, the undisputed, visionary and fearless leader of Australian racing- who’s there to oppose him South of the border? Chauncey Gardiner?- and his mighty three-year Everest trifecta, plus the latest mind boggling gimmick being floated around- to hold a race on Sydney Harbour Bridge- can shake off this feeling of déjà vu. Very déjà vu. Gimmicks and one-off events are not the cure for the Déjà Vu Blues.
Maybe it’s that time of the month. Even the tweets by racing’s serial tweeters and fawning jockey groupies expressing serious man love are no longer offering the goonish humour we have come to expect, and, at least, bring a wry smile to faces.
Posted in Australian horse racing industry, HAPPY WEDNESDAY, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, Peter V'landys, The horse racing industry
Tagged Everest, happy wednesday, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Moonee Valley, Pat Cummings, Peter V'landys, RACING VICTORIA, Winx
By Robyn Louw – reproduced with kind permission of the Sporting Post
Sometimes one needs a bit of a break from the harsh reality of life and it’s always good to have a few feel-good stories handy in a pinch. It’s been a tough week on the political front with our president shuffling his cabinet and while the Grand National can usually be relied on to throw up some kind of ruckus or high drama on the racing pages, this week the bad news came from the Southern Hemisphere. Luckily there was also some good news and for me, that came in the form of photographs of Felix Coetzee dropping in to visit Silent Witness at Australia’s Living Legends last week. As a happiness shared is a happiness doubled, I thought I’d do just that.
Silent Witness catapulted onto the racing stage with his incredible 17 race unbroken win streak back in the early 2000’s. It is difficult to comprehend the magnitude of his importance to the Hong Kong racing public, but arriving as he did in the middle of their SARS crisis his performances were seized on by the local community as a beacon of hope during some very dark times. His achievements were so significant that Murray Bell wrote a book dedicated to Silent Witness titled ‘The Spirit of Hong Kong’ and in 2009 the Hong Kong Jockey Club erected a life-size commemorative sculpture of Silent Witness on the Sha Tin Racecourse public forecourt.
By Hans Ebert
Greg Miles was a narrator. That was what made him such a great race-caller. He didn’t just “call” a race, he took listeners along for the ride, especially when away from television screens or unable to stream the races. Through his calling and his vast knowledge of a horse’s racing style, where it was positioned, and being able to read most race tracks, he was able to tell listeners how well or badly each horse was travelling and how much longer there was to run. With him taking one through a race, the listener knew exactly where their horse was, and whether it had a chance to win or place or whether the race had been run and it was time to sing, “Closing Time”.
Of course, there was then that voice- confident, authoritative, and succinct. It wasn’t that highly excitable style of race-calling from a different era where everyone sounded like a Edward G Robinson or James Cagney-type character from a Damon Runyon plot. Greg Miles brought things down a notch, and in so doing, gave race-calling a new voice. It still added to all the excitement, but also gave the sport something it was lacking: Sophistication.