All kinds of different stuff…

Of course it’s good that we have horse racing- even in its abridged form. It offers us at least four hours to shut down the darkness of feeling as locked down as Kunta Kinte on a rainy day on the plantation and being bombarded by the bad news bores.

It’s four hours of trying to win, though, more and more, one has to wonder what’s there to do with any BIG winnings even IF this were to happen.

Travel? But how when the airports are closed or there’s the need to go through two weeks of quarantine upon one’s return?

Then what? Cooking is therapeutic, especially with your family or partner. It’s something to show all those InstaFace friends what you’re made of.

Starting up a new business by creating haute couture masks and wraparounds? Nah. It’s not new anymore.

Far more worthwhile might be in looking at ways to inspire children into being creative. In this pandemic and pandemonium to keep busy, the futures of children are often put on the back burner of learning via Zoom. And where’s this going to lead? Hopefully, somewhere positive.

Open Face Sandwich is here to be a very small break from “the new abnormal”. It’s like a buffet of tidbits- irreverent, maybe relevant to some, but, above all, to know that we somehow need to get on with life. That it doesn’t have to be another Night Of The Living Dead.

Life is for living, right? So instead of going to sleep- again- and hoping that it’s all been an ugly nightmare, surely it’s coming to grips that it is what it is?

That instead of more hashtags promoting whatever is trending on any particular day and then everything escalating into another round of anger, and depression and disappearing into that giant abyss of nostalgia for the good old days, it’s trying to be a wee bit positive.

Instead of holding beads and chanting the dime store philosophising from Hallmark greeting cards, there’s a need to help create as to What’s Next.

Use all those inspirational things that can be found online- great new old music and movies and television series and virtual tours of the world around us- travel that’s currently on Hold.

Maybe get to finally know who you are. Not what you want others to think who you’re not.

Until then, yes, it’s brilliant that horse racing continues to gallop into some lives. There are still those racing radio stations with interviews with trainers and Craig Williams and other jockeys and hosts begging for “Friday fill ups”.

It’s all very Oliver Twisted and desperate, but these days, almost everything available is what it isn’t.

Of course, there are then the races to watch or listen to and maybe win a Quaddie- almost always the advice being to take a flexi as each of the four legs might average six selections.

Makes sense? Not really. But who cares? Just remember that in between all the racing to chill out and make yourself, yeah, an open face sandwich. It’s the new normal’s comfort food and answer to chicken soup for the soul.

Stanley Ho: The Movie. Can it ever happen?

Of course, it had to happen: a movie based on the life and times of the late great casino magnate Stanley Ho and the man who owned and put Macau on the map. Some say that Tarantino is more than interested in this project. But will this ever become reality? Stanley Ho was a fascinating man- a trailblazer, a game changer, ballroom dancer and very much his own man. He was the Don.

There will be countless hoops to jump through and Intellectual Rights issues to sort out not to mention Approval from the estate of the late billionaire who was married four times and has a gaggle of sons, daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Even if these hurdles are cleared, who could play this charismatic man going from dynamic young entrepreneur to his latter years? Who? Think about it.

Then think who could portray at least a couple of his wives and the various other factions of an extraordinary family tree with branches everywhere.

An Ongoing Online Ride…

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Got a tip?

Let’s face it, being a racing tipster is a thankless task. Everyone loves you when your tips come through. But when they bite the dust, well, let’s just say that one loses much of the shine.

Even Melbourne’s great Deane Lester, who, quite deservedly, has a flock that follows his tips with almost religious zeal, must lie awake at night weighed down by the enormous responsibility of trying to always ensure everyone stays on the positive side of the ledger.

Gareth Hall on RSN 927 calls Deane Lester a “beautiful man”.

Of course there are other tipsters, but it’s a hit or miss game. There’s no middle ground. But having been around since the days of chariot races and jousting, horse racing has enormous difficulties in letting go of anything from that long distant past until they keel over. It’s not unlike being a hoarder.

This is why still bobbing up here and there are panels and panels and panels of supposed racing experts comprising 3-4 talking heads to guide the spectacularly lost to find possible winning ways. Giddyup!

Sometimes these saviours of the lost help, but most often they go down like the Hindenburg. Being horse racing, it clings on to these relics just as it does everything else past its Use By Date.

One can only suppose that this is being “customercentric” and, these days especially, fighting the new normal from happening though it already has. And so these pockets of talking heads pop up like taco shells from a toaster handing out numbers. Four numbers for each race and which sometimes adds up to a staggering 120 different numbers for a ten race card. The odds of someone being correct? High. And then there’s Eunice.

We don’t know much about Eunice other than that she’s a foodie. She’s definitely not a racing tipster. She’s more of a happy medium. She senses things.

We’ll be keeping an open mind, especially when told that Eunice will be “vibing out” numbers from time to time for Open Space viewers. Maybe even on the last day of the Hong Kong racing season.

Other than being a very surreal one, this is a season that seems longer than reading through Racing Stewards Reports and Donald Trump’s nose if he were Pinnochio. There’s a link there.

An Ongoing Online Ride…

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For those who have been asking- and even if you haven’t- the voice behind the song “Global Citizen” belongs to Jimmy Cupples from Melbourne.

Jimmy was in the news a few years ago following quite a well-publicised spat with the singer Seal who was a judge on a show in which he was appearing- The Voice Australia. Seal ousted Jimmy off the television show.

An Ongoing Online Ride…

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Caspar Fownes: Name his victory dance and WIN!

It’s more John “Saturday Night Fever” Travolta than crotch grabbing Michael Jackson, but it really begs for a name.

Yes, that unique victory lap (?) dance trainer Caspar Fownes does replete with fist pumping whooping it up brings a certain joie de vivre even to the bare bones of “crowds” allowed to attend a race meeting in these days of masks, social distancing and ensuring that Mr Coronavirus doesn’t come knocking.

The question is, What could be a good name for this dance? The Watusi has been taken. The Twist needs a different twist. And The Casibah has been used.

Our friends at the recently launched Open Space- @open_space_hk- YouTube channel are offering the prize of a HK$2000 gift voucher from Lane Crawford for whoever comes up with the most creative name.

Entries should be sent to

Deadline is July 21, 2020.

One understands that Casibah himself will decide on the most creative name.

We also hear that popular choreographer Lemon Ting, below- yes, Lemon Ting- might be asked to make a song and dance about whatever these moves will be called. Creating a dance like this is his Ting. It’s thirsty work.

An Ongoing Online Ride…

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The question is, Who?

Who will be doing most of the riding for him when David Hayes returns to his happy hunting grounds next season as Hong Kong’s newest trainer?

With his support for Chad Schofield when The Chadster was riding in Melbourne, he will almost certainly be at the receiving end of a number of rides.

There were jungle drums pounding for a while that the lovely Craig Williams was hoping to also make a return to Hong Kong shores, but these never materialised. So was word that Vlad Duric had received the call up to ride in Hong Kong. Huh? One never says never, but here, we’ll make an exception.

As for Haysesy, who’s been seen around town wining and dining and doing the Dance Of The Seven Veils to woo owners to his stable, the question remains as to who will do the bulk of his riding.

Thinking back to those days when he was training here, David Hayes combined for great success with South African riders Basil Marcus, Douglas Whyte and Pierre Strydom.

Will this mean another support system for Karis Teetan? Maybe. But said to be a big fan, could Haysey be looking in the direction of the Brazilian Magic Man who’s won a Group race for him in Melbourne- IF the world class jockey hasn’t already been booked for man-Sized rides?

Who knows? What we do know at the moment is that five and six star hotel venues and restaurants in Hong Kong have seen a miraculous increase in revenue since the long shadow of David Hayes strides purposefully like Mr Creosote in a relentless move to wine and dine and charm owners off and on course.

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Opening up

* Who knows anything for sure about anything anymore, but, word is that well-spoken and more than capable Charlotte Mills, below, RWAA General Manager Racing, is being wooed quite vigorously by a completely different racing jurisdiction for a senior executive position.

“And for my next song, something sad from Bocelli…”

Of course, as in love, wooing and succeeding are two very different things. We’re tipping that Charlotte will stay put and very possibly take another step up the RWAA corporate ladder…

* “On The Moon” by Adam Lambert. Simply put, the most exquisitely written and performed song heard in decades and which transcends being a “pop” song.

It’s Jazz and Soul and a torch song living inside a personal musical and which could only have been delivered by Adam Lambert, who, in turn, is not some one dimensional former “American Idol” alumni.

* Masaka Kids Africana: Joyous, infectious and the very roots of sweet soul music. If not for music like this, there would be no James Brown and Aretha and Ray Charles and…

* Think About It. Then Think About It Again. Then ignore the lot of them. It’s Yeezy if you try.

Photos That Say So Much (And sometimes so little)

* She was Hong Kong racing’s pinup girl. Of course, we’re talking about apprentice jockey Kei Chiong.

She travelled pretty much under the radar after her decision to stop her racing career. It was too much pressure. Some said she was going to host her own cooking programme.

All this changed when she played the major role in purchasing this season’s Derby winner, and to many, Hong Kong racing’s Horse Of The Year Golden Sixty for owner Stanley Chan. Let’s not forget that Kei was indentured to Francis Lui, the popular trainer of the record breaking 4-year-old.

With that home run in her portfolio, it’s no surprise that Kei Chiong, bloodstock agent, has a conga line of owners and trainers coming to her to help them find the next Golden Sixty. Will she form an international team around her? Guess.

* Oisin Murphy: Open, informative, articulate and being a champion.

An Ongoing Online Ride…

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#AdamLambert #OisinMurphy #music #horseracing #KanyeWest #KeiChiong #GoldenSixty #DavidHayes #OpenSpace #competitions #CharlotteMills #MasakaKidsAfricana #tipsters #OpenFaceSandwich #education #newnormal #foodie #CasparFownes