By Hans Ebert



It’s where music has gone wrong- big business and music fans dividing its power of One into separate genres with different charts for this and that, causing “division within the ranks” and diluting the impact of the mothership: Music.

Like one’s imagination, music has no boundaries. Though treacly and not one of their finer musical moments, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney singing about Ebony and Ivory living in perfect harmony, apart from being about brotherhood and knocking down the doors of racism, could be about music coming together- Rap, Jazz, Soul, Rock, Reggae, Dance, Country, Classical etc.

The “delienation” of the world by Big Business and putting everyone into their little boxes and calling it “customer demographics” might be “marketing”. But is this GOOD marketing? How’s the message being received? As just empty ad talk? Ignored?

In horse racing, there’s the “hardcore” basket of eggs. They’re in that basket. It’s very often corporate thinking. Who are they? Professional gamblers? Horse racing writers? Racing fans who only want this pastime served one way? Eggs Over Easy or Hard Boiled with no garnish?

What if this “hardcore” world met, for instance, those from a Happy Wednesday evening- at least half way? Might this not lead to a new way of looking at horse racing? Of pressing that Refresh button and seeing what happens?

Sitting at the HKJC club Adrenaline on Wednesday night with a group of friends including one person, new to the city and who had never attended night racing in Hong Kong and specifically at Happy Valley along with someone who once played at the Beer Garden, it was interesting to hear their feedback.

The former was completely bowled over. He couldn’t see how or why anything should be changed. It was like a Tina Turner song. No, not Private Dancer.

The musician friend couldn’t believe how much had been enhanced since he’d last seen and been part of a Happy Wednesday and the quality plus huge amount of content, especially the music videos for the brand with one in particular featuring the vocals of Jimmy Cupples from Melbourne, below.

At one stage he stopped me talking just so he could listen to the chords on the track and Jimmy’s vocals. They’re amazing. They’re not something one can hear anywhere in Hong Kong. They’re in a different league. It’s like horse racing in Hong Kong, especially the venues and the on course experience at Happy Valley. It continues to be in a different league.

Often, too often, some of us are so close to so many things in Hong Kong and become such creatures of habit that we allow cynicism and boredom and mediocre talent to seep in. It’s easier to drink from that half empty glass.

On Wednesday night, we watched and saw why Zac Purton and Joao Moreira are two of the best jockeys in the world. They don’t need Beauty Generation and Beat The Clock to show their skills as Group 1 winning riders. Are they trying to outdo each other? Doubt it. They’re doing their best to better themselves. Big difference.

Within and intertwined with these on-track performances, Happy Wednesday has a cast of thousands and unscripted plots and sub plots to create so many Happy Wednesday Moments.

Television sets flickered when the music stopped and voices were heard…but no one was listening. It was unnecessary clutter. Those there were communicating with each other in the real world. They didn’t need to be interrupted by vapid commercial breaks.

I was to only find out the next day that a Gold Medal winning gymnast from the UK was dancing some particular dance he’s known for onstage with Carnivale, the band at the Beer Garden. Jordie from the band described the crowd reaction with his favourite word: Insane.
There will be more “insane”. Happy Wednesday has travelled too far to become predictable, flatulent and formulaic.

There were over 18,000 people on course. And on a chilly Wednesday night. It was different worlds meeting up and enjoying whatever and everything was happening around them. Often they make this happen.

My friend from the UK was doing well backing number 11 in most races to run a place. He was winning. His partner, well she backed 2 and 4 in one of the later races and snagged a 28 to 1 quinella. My musician friend won the treble. They didn’t need racing apps and listening to that endangered species known as tipsters.

Without knowing it, they had crossed over to that hardcore world of horse racing. Or supposedly hardcore. They were also watching and listening to Jennifer Palor, and Kel and the rest of The Best Band In Town. Who else can go from a song by Rag ‘N Bone Man to originals to a medley of the Theme From Shaft to Van McCoy’s “The Hustle”.


Was this horse racing? Yes, it was and yes it is and more than it’s ever been. It’s the changing face of horse racing- and it’s happening in Hong Kong.

As for those Happy Wednesday Moments, if painting a montage, it would be inspired by everything below and more.

Happy Wednesday is a showcase for what it says it is despite the shocking logo that refuses to die. That desperately needs to be deleted. Maybe it will live as a reminder of what’s not how things progress?

#horseracing #HKracing #HappyWednesdayHK #HKJC #PressRefresh #AdrenalineHK #music #HansEbert #FastTrackHK #PressPlay