By Hans Ebert

We’re not out of the woods yet. Don’t really know if we ever were though the October 1 National Day race meeting at Sha Tin went off with very few bumps in the road.

This happen on a day when an ill wind blew throughout the city was a huge win for the HKJC and those who, like fans of other sporting events, ‘live’ music gigs etc, don’t wish to see politics, especially politics taken over by mob rule, taking away their downtime enjoyment of this city’s favourite pastime.

As been mentioned here many times, horse racing in Hong Kong is much more than the “punt”. Winning some extra cash is fine. But in a world that’s become more and more angry, stressful and constantly fuelled by the vitriol on anti social social media, horse racing gives thousands the time to switch off and download some much-needed positivity. Positivity is in very short supply in Hong Kong these days.

Since June, there’s been a current of hatred and anger and extraordinary malevolent behaviour that’s caught everyone off guard, especially the government, now tediously labelled the “embattled” Hong Kong government with its “beleaguered” and completely ineffective Chief Executive.

There’s no need to go through the why’s and the wherefores for everything crashing and burning around us. Let’s just put it down to naïveté, a romanticising of terrorism- it stopped being protests months ago- and the well known puppet masters financing their new pet project for much bigger stakes.

With every Sunday being the day set aside for violence to boil over, the only pastime left for many in Hong Kong is to stay indoors. This pastime has been “trending” with its never ending hashtags since June.

With what’s left of Hong Kong’s once world class underground system all but destroyed through vandalism and various traffic diversions and Shatin Town Plaza being a chain reaction of violence on National Day, every single business is under siege- and suffering. And if there are no customers, where’s the business?

Horse racing in Hong Kong WILL continue- but possibly in a more streamlined form- especially when getting to and from Sha Tin for almost every race goer is more trouble than it’s worth. Why bother?

Turnover will be slightly affected, but what’s needed is that roar of the crowds on course to accompany those thundering hooves.

Having said all this, things must get better. Things might need to get worse for this to happen, but Hong Kong will stop starting to resemble Gotham City and the sun will be allowed to shine through again.

This city hasn’t come this far to go back to being a barren rock and have some new version of Fagin and his street urchins run riot.

Possible winners this afternoon? Hopefully, the hard working people of Hong Kong caught up in a trap without the means to escape.

As for winners at Sha Tin, here are some suggestions- only suggestions as we really have more important things on our minds. Like surviving and seeing that corner turned and when we again end up on the sunny side of the street. We have to.

Race 1: 6-3-4-5
Race 2: 2-1-5-4
Race 3: 7-8-5-10
Race 4: 4-9-7-8
Race 5: 9-3-8-7
Race 6: 10-11-12-5
Race 7: 9-11-7-4
Race 8: 4-1-14-3
Race 9: 13-12-11-5
Race 10- 3-14-2-6