News, views and ideas as to how horse racing can change with the times and attract a new generation by feeding them some entertaining carrots- and receiving their feedback. Send all feedback to

Two names still on the lips- well maybe not lips so much as mouths- the resounding flops of sizzling hot pots in the first two races at Flemington yesterday: Viking Warrior and Lycurgus. What happened? Nothing much for their backers.

We understand many Multis bit the dust before anything was given the time to even get started with most of those weekend tipsters not looking good in the wash up. Or maybe the drowning is the more apt term.

Thankfully, there’s always Deane Lester who put his hands in the air and admitted that he was out of the Flemington at the first hurdle. Good was seeing Jamie Kah get her new riding career get off to a flier by winning on Belwazi at 15 to 1 for trainer Jerome Hunter.


It’s pretty much run its course, at least with most of the horse racing crowd: Twitter.

Of course, the delivery platform remains useful as an immediate and convenient form of breaking news, but, more and more, Twitter friendly jockeys are no longer out there like “back in the day” with their blue tick verification symbols along with the usual crew of followers. They’ve either become more selective or else have “moved house” to the far more visual driven resting, nesting and “happy snaps” world of Instagram self promotion.

Others might still have Twitter accounts, but have disappeared from view. Why be seen and heard, anyway? What’s there to prove? Plus those who know you, well, they have your contact details and there’s nothing better than meeting face to face.

There’s still an awful amount of tweeting from both sides of one’s mouth by many on Twitter. One can block them, mute them, but, like a bad smell, they never leave. They return hiding under a different username. They’re back as a “mate”, more bollocks and, somewhere along the way, another free ride.

If not having to be on social media for business, there’s something to be said for returning to the real world. There’s something very dark about the online world. It could be The Great Plague of these times.

Of course, horse racing has hardly attracted the rabid following on Twitter enjoyed by politicians, entertainment personalities, the Kardashians who fall into that Unknown category, marquee value sports stars, rappers and musicians.

However, no matter how tedious, it once had its fair share of serial jockey bashers, and the usual suspects desperately trying to keep their names in fading lights.

Today? A few jockeys, the small group of Big Men on Twitter with their petty politics and the all-too-familiar handwringing about the same old subjects still being discussed at the drop of even a soupçon of a reason. Alas, as usual, nothing brings about any closure. Nothing ever will.

Those “likes” and “retweets” have become a dribble. Those days when the HKJC’s fatuous Mr Bubbles wanted some to believe that the US has Twitter “influencers” are gonski. So’s Mr Bubbles.

Maybe we’ve all grown up. Maybe we’ve tired of supporting all those revolting peasants. Maybe we’ve gravitated to Twitter accounts like @41Strange- surreally brilliant and always packed with creative left field content like what’s shown below…

Like every other social media delivery platform, there’s a strong whiff of fake numbers, fake “likes” and fake followers from, most recently, the, er, UAE tweeting in Arabic and following no one else. Hmmmm. Must have been a special sale recently for fake everything. The “numbers game” is not fooling anyone anymore with its complete Taco Belle irrelevance.

For racing clubs, the pretty sudden lack of interest in social media begs the question we continue to ask here: How do they expand their customer base by attracting those not the least bit interested in #horseracing?

Does one really believe that “social media agencies” and “social media experts” have the answers and are making an iota of difference? Please.

Having met and even worked with some, there’s no way in Haedes they know how to make something not in the public consciousness suddenly become a mainstream sport.

There’s the need for a damn good roller deck for this to happen and who can tap into Key Opinion Leaders (KOLS)…OUTSIDE of horse racing to spread the word.


After listening to the hour of airtime recently devoted to Matt (Keyser Soze) Stewart interviewing Charlotte Littlefield, below, fairly new to the Australian training ranks, on the Melbourne based dead people’s sports and racing radio channel, we won’t be the least bit surprised if she made a quick reappearance.

“Keyser” seemed somewhat enamoured by the rather fetching Hampshire born equestrian rider and fledgling trainer and asked her question after question which the 33-year-old Miss Littlefield fielded with great aplomb and confidence. We’re tipping she’ll go far. We’re also tipping it won’t be long if she isn’t a regular on television- if she has the time for it.

It all seemed to make “Keyser” gush even more. He was Matty putty in her hands. He wondered where the time had gone and how there were still so many questions to be asked.

The trainer’s business partner husband Jason Hay was also on the programme. One almost forgot he was there. Maybe he’d left. Three’s a crowd.

What might get Matty’s motor running again would be if he were to interview Twitter’s omnipresent and very clever “Miss L Guru”, below.

This might be when the coffee cup falls off the table and the pieces come together.



Yes, it might be all about Beauty Generation in the Stewards Cup at Sha Tin this afternoon and “How far?” plus more big celebratory parties by The Family Kwok at the Grand Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt, but it’s the Centenary Sprint that has the cast, plots, sub plots and human interest stories- like seen Mr Stunning again, below, with Nash Rawiller aboard in the Hong Kong International Sprint Cup two years ago.

That’s when this marvellous galloper- but often a tad overlooked- was with John Size. Much has happened since then with the horse being switched to Frankie Lor.

As for the Gnasher, he’s doing fine, and we eagerly await son Cam, below, make his debut as apprentice. Very smart kid.

In the same race today, Sam Clipperton has the ride on DB Pin for John Size, the galloper instrumental in having top bloke and part time DJ Olivier Doleuze bow out of horse racing in Group 1 winning style.

Today, the galloper is in the more than capable hands of Sam Clipperton who’s won on him before. Clipperton is a very good young rider. Anyone remember those winners on Booming Delight and many other John Moore runners?

Then, Tommy Berry arrived to be stable rider for Jungle John and everything became very messy. The Berry Moore cocktail detonated and Sam Clipperton lost a major support system.

While Tommy Berry became a Club jockey and a Moore Whyte partnership started to be formed quicker than one could say Hair Trigger, Clippo was shut out. Funny that.

Joao Moreira then returned a few months ago as stable jockey for John Size and his other support system took a hit.

From that breakout season in 2016/17 when he rode 40 winners and was being hailed as the future Zac Purton, the bottom has fallen out and Sam Clipperton has ridden only four winners so far this season.

Runners up don’t count. And when opportunities dry up, fung shui comes into play and owners might consider giving a ride to a jockey suffering a lean trot if they shave their heads to get rid of the bad luck, and for good look, go to the temple.

With the HKJC Licensing Committee meeting next month, these next few are meetings are important for Sam Clipperton.

Last Wednesday, Callan Murray, also finding good rides hard to come by, had no rides. This coming Wednesday, Alberto Sanna, who has worked so hard to get back to riding fitness after an accident while exercising, has, apparently, no one requiring his services. It’s very tough to ride winners when one doesn’t have any rides.

As for the Centenary Sprint Cup, it’s quite an ongoing horse opera.


 Ciaron Maher. Australian Horse trainer.

Glenn Close. Hollywood Actress.

#horseracing #hkracing #Flemington #MrStunning #DBPin #SamClipperton #BeautyGeneration #NashRawiller #CamRawiller #OlivierDoleuze #JamieKah #DeaneLester #Twitter #CharlotteLittlefield #MattStewart #MissLGuru #CiaronMaher #GlennClose