All kinds of different stuff…


…AND THEN THERE ARE THE REAL DOWN TO EARTH HONG KONG RACING FANS

It follows the Rules Of Racing, but what gives racing in this city a pulse is how the Hong Kong Jockey Club works to create the best possible racing product in the world, and, to first of all, attract local fans of the pastime. The fact that its appeal is global is an important extra.

Not having a breeding industry and with most not having grown around horses, what should be understood is that the interest in horse racing has much to do with its excitement and entertainment value. It’s around four hours of fun and escapism twice a week.

Of course, betting is involved to give this pastime, largely, the grassroots market, some added spice to the pastime. Is there any interest in the pedigree of a galloper and overseas form and other weights and measures? Really doubt it.

It’s about doing any necessary homework to, hopefully, back the winner and being up on the day.

Horse racing is also the most successful Made In Hong Kong product. Right now, it might even be the only Made In Hong Kong product.

Can this product be improved? Everything can be improved. More important is keeping this product fresh and relevant. This is one side of the coin.

On the other are those like a group of passionate local racing fans who recently started a Facebook page to share racing memories of Hong Kong.

The members of this fan page are constantly posting photos of the history of Hong Kong horse racing. They aren’t punters or horse owners.

Like the music fan who lives and breathes music and knows who recorded what and when and why and with whom, this group of passionate racing fans, some of whom are hardly considered old, not only know the names of the most obscure jockeys who rode here going back to the Sixties and even the Fifties, but also every rider who’s competed here.

They know the names of every trainer who has plied their trade in Hong Kong, the owners, the horses, and know the colours of the owners’ silks.

It’s constant good natured oneupmanship with Members badges being posted and memories shared with racing writers and jockeys and the families of former trainers, jockeys and owners who were once part of Hong Kong racing making cameo appearances.

It’s sometimes good to reminisce and be reminded of those happy days and happier and simpler times.

Often, this Facebook page is like a game show. It’s racing trivia. It’s an online history of Hong Kong racing. It’s far more “customercentric” and relevant than that white elephant masquerading as the Hong Kong Racing Museum.

This incredible interest in and knowledge of Hong Kong racing, not by horse racing pundits, but like-minded friends such as amateur photographers who simply enjoy the opportunity to take photos of the racing fraternity, is the real heartbeat of racing in this city.

To them, every one of these jockeys they are able to photograph is a star. A hero. It’s not about the owners who can afford to spend the big bucks to purchase their million dollar equine babies.

These owners pay for what is often the most expensive game in town and on turf. Theirs is a private battle for prize money and winning supremacy that buys that unique Hong Kong quirk called “face”.

Theirs is a very different world to where the aforementioned racing fans are: They have no interest in prize money or turnover. Why would they? What’s in it for them? A percentage?

Interesting is that though there might be photos of winning owners from other decades, there’s not even one of today’s Kwok and Siu racing dynasties.

Money doesn’t dazzle everyone. Especially in these times where money’s either too tight to mention or there’s not much to actually DO with money. Except maybe count it. Over and over again.

#HKracing #racingmemories #HappyValleyracecourse #Shatinracing


An Ongoing Online Ride…

To visit Open Space, click any of the links below…

Facebook – Open Space

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YouTube – Open Space


FLAUNT IT, BABY! Inside Rafael Nadal’s New $5 Million Yacht Where He Relaxed During Coronavirus Lockdown

Inside Rafael Nadal’s New $5 Million Yacht Where He Relaxed During Coronavirus Lockdown – ESSENTIALLY SPORTS


There’s been Fred Astaire. Gene Kelly. Travolta. Brother James. The Gloved One. And lest one forgets, the fiery moves of Hong Kong based horse trainer Caspar Fownes when he kinda self-combusts into his well-known victory dance. As Brother James would yelp, Git On Up!

Well, after a recent competition on Open Space to give these unique moves a name, there’s a winner: Moves Like Aaron. Makes sense.

After all, Cas trains gallopers for Canto Pop superstar and bon ami and huggy bear Aaron Kwok. We know: To those outside of Hong Kong, whooooo?

Before reaching superstardom and the lofty heights of being one of Canto Pop’s four “Heavenly Kings”, the always fashionable Aaron Kwok started out as a backup dancer for the late Chinese diva Anita Mui.

Though nowadays being a movie star and one of the most popular Chinese entertainers in the world and a very popular horse owner, he has been known to still busta move when hitting the dance floor.

Same goes for Caspar. But he doesn’t need a dance floor to show off his moves. Training a winner at Happy Valley or Shatin is enough to get him whooping it up and…trying to git it up and…trying to busta Move Like Aaron.


An Ongoing Online Ride…

To visit Open Space, click any of the links below…

Facebook – Open Space

Instagram – Open Space

YouTube – Open Space


Brilliant to see Grant van Niekerk back with a bang and amongst the winners. This was on Tuesday at Durbanville when the very talented young South African rode an excellent four timer.

Whatever happens next will happen though many can’t help feeling that he should be back riding in Hong Kong and adding some extra dim sum into the jockey ranks.


An Ongoing Online Ride…

To visit Open Space, click any of the links below…

Facebook – Open Space

Instagram – Open Space

YouTube – Open Space


THE TIP FOR TAT QUADDIE DEPARTMENT

Who’s the tipster in a certain state in Australia still offering Quaddie tips every Saturday that almost ALWAYS includes seven runners in the first leg, five in the second, “going skinny” in leg three and “coming home” with four runners in the last leg? Do the math. Then ask how much you MIGHT win if taking a “flexi”. Very seldom does anyone win nutting.

At least good old Sky Racing’s Gary Harley turns his tips for wherever in Sydney into some long drawn out homespun hokum. Sometimes, as when last week at Scone, he boldly proclaimed that he would walk home if $1.20 favourite Virtuous Star lost- it was beaten by 34 to 1 pop Rockness Angel- things go awry. Still, that’s a different type of entertainment. It’s surreally wacky.

Footnote: After “Big Gaz” finally finished his “virtuous” recent radio opus, we swear that when crossing over to the continuity person at one particular radio channel, he was heard to mumble under his breath, “Jeez, that should give all of us some hope”.

Still, “Big Gaz” is easier to take than the long and winding road taken by Mr Red Belly to get to the point- by which time we have mercifully switched off…and saved on the grief of losing.


An Ongoing Online Ride…

To visit Open Space, click any of the links below…

Facebook – Open Space

Instagram – Open Space

YouTube – Open Space


The Last Word

When she was asked to reveal her beauty secrets, actress Audrey Hepburn wrote this poem, which was read at her funeral:

To have attractive lips, pronounce words of kindness.

To have beautiful eyes, look at what beautiful people have in them.

To stay thin, share your meals with those who are hungry.

To have beautiful hair, let a child pass his hand every day.

To have a beautiful maintenance, walk knowing that you are never alone, because those who love you and loved you accompany you.

People, more than objects, need to be repaired, tended, revived, claimed and saved: never reject anyone.

Think about it: if one day you need a hand helping, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.

As you get older, you will realize that you have two hands, one to help yourself, the other to help those who need it.

The Beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, her face or her way of fixing her hair. The Beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, for it is the open door on her heart, the source of her love.

The Beauty of a woman is not in her makeup, but in the true beauty of her soul. It is the tenderness that she gives, love, passion it expresses.

The Beauty of a woman develops with the years.