The news this week that Li Ruigang, below, and his company China Media Capital (CMC) and Warner Brothers Entertainment will form an international production and distribution partnership called the Flagship Entertainment Group and based in Hong Kong, should give the HKJC some food for thought.


The new joint venture aims to capitalise on the burgeoning film market in Mainland China, the world’s second largest, where box office receipts increased by 36 percent last year to 29.6 billion yuan, or HK$36 billion. Dubbed “China’s Rupert Murdoch” for his experience and interest in all aspects of the media, Li Ruigang has been seen as the future of television programming and film content in Mainland China since his days as the whizz kid of Shanghai Media Group. With him also being a major shareholder of Young Lion Holdings, a controlling shareholder with a 26 percent stake in leading terrestrial broadcaster HKTVB, the new and main delivery platform for Hong Kong racing, it should make the HKJC think of something suggested by the station to the Club almost four years ago: Produce original content on horse racing that captures the lifestyle aspects of the sport.


Fast forward to today and with senior officials on the Mainland wishing to see the “Made In China” brand “travel” overseas and be recognised for its business and creative efforts, surely a documentary on Hong Kong racing- and lest anyone forgets, Hong Kong is part of China- or a short film using racing in Hong Kong as its backdrop, which can make its way to film festivals such as the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, or even a joint production with France Galop, is just around the corner and with no great walls stopping this from happening?


France Galop: restoring the image of horse racing one communication at a time