BRINGING THE WORLD OF RACING TOGETHER: LONGINES HKIR

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(Courtesy of http://www.fasttrack.hk)

The guide below was written before hearing the news of the absolutely vile, brazen, despicable act of some thug- let’s please stop calling these gangsters “colourful characters” and glamourising scumbags- walking up and shooting at the home of Racing Victoria Chief Steward Terry Bailey. This incident is not only extremely disturbing, but when family is involved, it affects us all. It makes us think about the welfare of others, worry for their safety and peace of mind, and makes us think of our own priorities.

This appalling act of cowardice and malice should not go unpunished, nor should it be fobbed off as a “glitch”, nor cast a pall over a sport that’s meant to bring people together and be a fun experience. The Melbourne Cup will go on and be the exciting race it always is. The race will continue to stop a nation and help erase the memory of this heinous crime though what has happened is still very raw. Racing has no place for gangland-type hits, and whoever was behind this shooting will be caught, will be exposed and the law will take care of the rest. Enough is enough and enough of these “colourful characters” infiltrating a sport we love.

Looking at December and Longines Hong Kong International Week, let’s make it a celebration of racing and one giant party for however long we want it to last with no politics and zero tolerance for those trying to wreak havoc on the sport.

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NUDGE NUDGE WINX WINX AND MAGIC FROM THEWIZARDOFOZ

By Hans Ebert

WINX 1a

WINX 2a

WINX 2b

With memories of the extraordinary win of Winx in the Cox Plate yesterday, and underlining the sheer brilliance of Hugh Bowman, surely one of the top three riders in the world, if not the best, but still unrecognised outside of Australia, playing non-stop in the windmills of this mind, it’s very difficult to go over the harrowed ground of racing last Thursday at Happy Valley on the dreaded C+3 Course, where every jockey in every race must have received the same riding instructions: Lead at all costs.

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HORSE RACING MARKETING: GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT CREATIVITY‏

By Jenny Bridle

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(Courtesy of http://www.fasttrack.hk)

Recently, the Indiana Racing Commission Executive Director, Joe Gorajec, was fired after 25 years of service to the State. One primary reason given by Indiana Racing Chairman Thomas Weatherwax for Gorajec’s dismissal: he spent too much time regulating horse racing and protecting the sport’s integrity and did not give enough attention to marketing.

IHRC

Weatherwax went on to say that breeding in the state has dropped by more than 50% over previous years to just 1,200 mares in 2015 and that Gorajec needed to be more focussed on the promoting the economic development of the Indiana equine industry. Instead, he was primarily focussed on testing and regulation, and given economic realities, the Commission “needed to go in another direction.”

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THE GAGGED AND MUZZLED MRC ISSUE

By our correspondents in Australia

BLACK DAY FOR MELBOURNE RACING CLUB

THE GAGGED 1

It had all the ingredients necessary to make it a super day for the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) hosting its jewel in the crown – the Caulfield Cup, one of Australia’s best distance races and the middle leg of the “big three” spring carnival features. But it turned out to be a dark day for the Club and for its Chairman Mike Symons.

THE GAGGED 2

The inexcusable, illogical, irrational, inflammatory, hare brained decision to impose a “ban” on Fairfax racing media journalist Patrick Bartley was a moment of stupidity – a decision which would have been par for the course in Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, Assad’s Syria, Putin’s Russia – come to think of it, any country where freedom of the press is fiction and dissent is rewarded with a public stoning in the city square or in a mounting yard nearby.

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Posted in Australian horse racing industry, Horse Racing, Marketing of horse racing, Racing NSW, The horse racing industry, zac purton | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A HARD DAY’S NIGHT DURING HKIR WEEK…

By Hans Ebert

A friend from Melbourne who’s counting down the days before touching down in Hong Kong for International Races week was asking where people go to these days. This was after being painted a rather bleak picture of Wanchai today- an area at odds with itself and rampant with business battles for control. Recently in a series of takeovers which some say is tied up with money laundering, clubs have opened and closed faster than a venus fly trap on crack.

A HARD 1

For example, Spicy Fingers, where it was not uncommon to see Jenny Chapman, cut loose from the paddock, burn up the dance floor, and Amigo Clint spreading brotherly love at the bar, has closed down. Dusk Till Dawn is the only show in town and bursting with stragglers trying to get in and others trying to get out. The club has the best covers bands in town and is always good fun to take in after a certain amount of liquid gold.

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Posted in casper fownes, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, The horse racing industry, zac purton | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

CHINESE JOCKEYS: YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND TOMORROW‏

By Hans Ebert

There’s something about the term “local rider” that’s almost derogatory, or, perhaps, dismissive, and one would have thought that, by now in this age of technology and, as Doors once sang about breaking through to the other side, a new expression would have entered Hong Kong racing’s lexicon.

CHINESE JOCKEYS 1

When some of us hear this term- “local rider”- our memory banks tap into the distant past and such colourful characters who seemed to have graduated from the Pony Express School of Riding- WH “Rambo” Tse, Vincent Sit, Louis KY Ho, KH “Darkie” Hung, WT Hung, Alan MC Tam, Terry Chan, YY Choy etc.- riders who might have had all the determination in the world to win races, but simply didn’t have the God-given talent to become more than what they were: Chinese cowboys. There’s simply no other way of describing them, yet still, some wielded a great deal of power on and off the track through their association with stables and owners and access to various permits for importing horses. They might have struggled to ride winners, but they weren’t struggling financially.

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Posted in casper fownes, FELIX COETZEE, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, The horse racing industry, Tony Cruz | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ZAC PURTON IS NOT A HELICOPTER AND OTHER COOL STUFF ABOUT A FRIDGE

FRIDGE 1a

FRIDGE 1b

FRIDGE 2

Greg Miles might have slightly mangled his call of the Caulfield Cup- his thirty fifth call of the race- by referring to New Zealand’s Opie Bosun-ridden and Murray Baker-trained Mongolian Khan, the winner of the race, as “Magnolian Khan”, but that’s petty stuff to what we in Hong Kong have to endure every race day from our theatre of the absurd with race callers sounding as if they’ve been hired from the Monty Python Repertory Theatre For One Legged Tarzans.

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Posted in Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, JOAO MOREIRA, The horse racing industry, zac purton | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

THE UNSUNG CONTRIBUTORS TO HORSE RACING: HONG KONG’S JENNY “FROM THE PADDOCK” CHAPMAN‏

By Jenny Bridle

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(Courtesy of http://www.fasttrack.hk)

Whether you have direct experience with horse racing in Hong Kong, it goes without saying that the venues and the turnover are spectacular compared to anywhere else in the world. Only in Hong Kong is there a world class racetrack nestled among the City’s skyscrapers.

UNSUNG 1

Only in Hong Kong does gambling turnover consistently exceed billions of dollars every year. And, visitors from other racing jurisdictions — especially those from North America where spectating crowds can be very thin on the ground except at signature events — will be blown away by the sheer size of the HKJC with its almost 30,000 employees, the huge number of fans on track, the general atmosphere of excitement, the jockeys who are treated like rockstars, and the local newspapers which still carry feature pages of racing stories and profiles as well as every stat you will need to place bets. Taken together these components make racing in Hong Kong nothing short of spectacular.

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Professional Email of the Day: John Messara Responds‏

John Messara

Your recent article pointing to Racing Australia’s alleged lack of achievements was brought to my attention last week. I am afraid that I feel compelled to write in and take issue with your view of Racing Australia.

Racing Australia commenced on 3 December, 2014 when the regulatory functions of the Australian Racing Board were amalgamated with the Australian Stud Book and the industry’s data and information organization RISA. The successful merger of three separate organizations was in itself an achievement and gives the Australian breeding and racing industry unprecedented commercial and regulatory opportunities.

Australia’s 8 Principal Racing Authorities were united in their desire to forge a national industry to the greatest extent possible, given that they each operate under their own enabling legislation and account to their own State Governments and stakeholders who don’t always share the same desire for a national industry.

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THE LIGHTEN UP ISSUE

LIGHTEN UP 1

FIX YOUR OWN BACKYARD UP FIRST? HMMMMM?

LIGHTEN UP 2

Under the headline “Southern Comfort”, the Tele’s Nic Ashman gave the Victorians (“our poor southern cousins”, as he called them), a decent serve on the composition of this weekend’s Caulfield Cup field, inferring that the exclusion of winners of major Sydney staying races from the final field was discriminatory.

LIGHTEN UP 3

Putting aside the inferences of bias and discrimination, at face value, Ashman makes some valid points. The Group One Metropolitan, for instance, is well on the way to resurrecting itself as a staying race of some quality. Not that long ago, it was in grave danger of losing its Group One status, but there are swings and roundabouts with most staying features in Australia, thanks to half a century or more of neglect for staying races in nearly every State as the NSW/Hunter Valley based love affair with two year old speed races flourished.

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