All kinds of different stuff…


It’s all in the eye of the beholder, and the brilliant photo below by amateur Hong Kong based Wallace Wan “says” many things- nobility, pride, romance, a return to an age of chivalry, riders in the storm, teamwork. Camelot.

If horse racing is ever going to be more than it is, or what it once was and not continue to live in the bubble of a distant past, there’s a need for a much needed facelift- an image overhaul by those outside of the bubble with the chutzpah and new thinking needed to attract a new customer and fan base.

If one picture is worth a thousand words, then this powerful photo of the Brazilian magic man Joao Moreira says many things missed in the communications of exactly what horse racing is meant to be other than the obvious- and everything more it can be.

The question is this: Can horse racing attract (and keep) the talent needed to look beyond the obvious and allow them the freedom to create content that achieves these objectives?


An Ongoing Online Ride…

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MAKE WAY FOR THE DRINKS CART…

It’s understood that The Drinks Cart, the impressive young sprinter from the Gold Coast, has been sold to Hong Kong connections and will join the Tony Cruz stable.

Those who know about the abilities of The Drinks Cart are predicting bigger things for the galloper when he turns three years old.


An Ongoing Online Ride…

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HONG KONG MONEY MONEY MONEY

Meanwhile, global economic recession or not, from reports almost anywhere in Australia where there is good young equine talent, Hong Kong owners, never short of those Big Bucks, are at the ready to make offers for these few can afford to refuse.

One trainer concerned that he might be losing some of his best young gallopers to Hong Kong interests, joked- or was he?- that he’s decided to put up a sign in front of their stables screaming out “WIND SUCKER”. This is in case potential Hong Kong owners might be sending their troops to snoop around his stable looking for anything worthwhile with financial raids in mind. And no one is interested in a “wind sucker”.

Are these Hong Kong owners overpaying for purchases and being taken for the usual rides? Guess. There are plenty more from where Perth’s Who Dat Singa came. And what a miserable AUS$880,000 Milli Vanilli flop that bye bye was.

Bought with the 2017 Hong Kong Derby in mind, the poor thing started his career there with Richard Gibson and ended up going way down in the ratings and tackling 1400 metre races on all-weather tracks…in Class 4 for the KL Man stable. And then he disappeared.


An Ongoing Online Ride…

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WIZARDRY AT WORK

No matter what he does and how well he does it, William Pike remains a rider who’s “The Wizard” only in Western Australia. Not that we think the hoop gives a toss. He’s stable jockey for the Bob Peters cavalcade of star horsepower, gets to spend time with his family and has his choice of riding the very best gallopers in Perth.

Wizardry was afoot at Belmont on Wednesday. William Pike’s ride on Dark Mission was something very special. If you can find a video of it, it’s well worth watching. And with a full book of rides at Kalgoorlie on Sunday, watch out for more wizardry.


An Ongoing Online Ride…

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MOORE TO IT THAN MEETS THE EYE

And so the Hong Kong racing season ended on Wednesday with a record turnover of over 18 percent on a day when most in the city were worrying about the latest moves taken by the government to curb the third and most dangerous spike in Covid-19.

Still, there were nine races to bet on what was John Moore’s final appearance as a trainer in Hong Kong before moving to Rosehill and the next chapter of his illustrious career- a training partnership with younger brother Gary.

With a portfolio that includes having trained superstars like Rapper Dragon, Able Friend, Collection, Viva Pataca, Werther, Designs On Rome, and Beauty Generation and having the respect and ear of the most powerful owners in the city, one very much doubts that the savvy Moore will be cutting off all ties with Hong Kong. The man is no fool.


An Ongoing Online Ride…

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CAPTION THIS…

Though our friends at the Open Space channel on YouTube are starting their onslaught of competitions by asking viewers to name Trainer Caspar Fownes’ Victory Dance- and a chance for those in Hong Kong to win a $2000 gift voucher from luxury store Lane Crawford- open soon to everyone will be the chance to win a new prize.

How? By coming up with a creative caption for the rather surreal photograph below of enthusiastic HKJC Trackside host Andrew LeJeune and a puzzled looking Zac Purton, recently crowned Champion Hong Kong Jockey of the tough 2019-20 racing season.


An Ongoing Online Ride…

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A DIFFERENT SPACE

Could Open Space be moving towards attracting those with very different and creative views of the world in the new abnormal? We’re tipping, yes.

David Lynch Releases Quarantine Video Interview: ‘I’m Proud’ of Every Film Except ‘Dune’ – INDIEWIRE


An Ongoing Online Ride…

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GOOD QUESTION: WHERE AND HOW DO THE CHILDREN PLAY AND USE THEIR IMAGINATIONS IN THESE TESTING TIMES?


An Ongoing Online Ride…

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THE HKJC AND LEADING BY EXAMPLE

What’s often naive thinking is when some who profess to understand the ins and outs of horse racing still have the blinkers on when having to face the fact that putting on these race meetings is part of a business. Right, Dougie?

Running any world class racing club is a business. It’s not something for hobbyists or those craving for the good old days.

It’s not how smaller is something quaint for those wanting a more intimate day at the races.

With days at the races now either on Hold or something to be viewed in the online world for who knows how long, as with any business, it’s about how to continue producing the goods the best one can. It’s doing the maths.

This leads to turnover and how, against all odds, the Hong Kong Jockey Club recorded HK$121.6 billion in betting turnover for the topsy turvy 2019-20 racing season that ended last Wednesday.

This figure, achieved across 87 local meetings and the simulcast of 164 overseas races was only 2.8 percent down on the record 2018-19 figure.

If this wasn’t enough, Wednesday night’s season finale at Happy Valley produced turnover of HK$1.6 billion- a record for any fixture at the city track.

Overall, HK$12.11 billion went to the HK Government coffers in taxes while a significant contribution has been made to charities including, naturally enough, emergency Covid-19 funding.

With all these numbers bandied around, it’s easy to lose sight of the importance of turnover and just how much goes back to the community- the financial aid needed these days to help the city fight a faceless enemy while also funding Hong Kong’s present and future.

As has been mentioned here and wherever I have written over the years, the HKJC is much more than a racing club.

Its Charities Trust is a vital part of an organisation that works WITH the community FOR the community and in ways often overlooked.

It’s also the fifth largest global charity organisation.

For Hong Kong Jockey Club CEO Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, who has seen the ups and downs and rollercoaster rides of this unique city since arriving here from Germany in 1998 to be Director of Racing before appointed CEO in 2007, ensuring that the Club continues to lead by example while inspiring the community to understand the role they have to play as responsible citizens, couldn’t be easy.

Then again, the leadership skills of the man known as “E.B” are unique. He commands respect- not only by big business, but by the general public. He has a track record that’s hard to beat.

Again, it’s about leading by example. It’s ensuring that the HKJC is a racing club and a business that benefits Hong Kong- and always seen as looking after the interests of the community.

It’s a delicate balancing act, but it’s one that works in ways that very few organisations can.

#HKJC #horseracing #turnover #HKJCCharitiesTrust #community #WinfriedEngelbrechtBresges #CEOHongKongJockeyClub