By Hans Ebert

It wasn’t so much a break as an interlude
It still seemed incredibly boring and long
Felt like a cat on a hot tin roof with Big Daddy
Every Groundhog Day just plodded along
Over and over and over again…

The only things racing were in our minds
Weirdness was flying all over the place
We really missed trying to beat the odds
Even if it often meant falling flat on our face

But the motors get running at Shatin today
When those barriers crash open again
Now a Made For Television horse opera
It’s the chill out pill for not going insane

Starring an international cast of characters
Who’ve come from near and far
There’ll be lights, camera and action
Heroes, villains and commingling stars

This might sound like a spaghetti western
A horse opera with some soap
It’s whatever you want to make out of it
It might even offer up some hope

The main act is the Zac and Joao Show
They won’t give each other an inch
The Mauritian Magician will be peachy keen
To once again split that duopoly and win

The apprentices will come out guns blazing
The Poon Train is like a choo choo Tom Mix
The way he hustles and bustles around
Often has many of us “trains-fixed”

It’s good to have ol’ Sugar Lips back
He’ll sweeten things up quite a bit
Metro Warrior with the Zac Attack up
Might be his welcome back home gift

Antoine Hamelin has been busy climbing rocks
We all have our own ways of keeping fit
Like Trackside host Andrew LeJeune
He works out with his big selfie stick

Alexis Badel is here for the whole season
And eager to get that first winner on the board
After that it should be plain sailing
Though racing here can often be a bumpy road

It’s always interesting to follow Douglas Whyte
And see who does the riding for him
More revealing are those he doesn’t use
Getting into his good books always remain slim

Putting the pedal to the metal will be Mr Cruz
The great Putha Man will ask riders to chill
But when he’s morphing into Robert DeNiro
Scary visions from “Cape Fear” come into view

Ricky Yiu, last year’s champion trainer
Might this season be facing an uphill task
The ratings game are always hard to beat
There might be a frown behind that mask

Size is someone who matters all the time
So laidback you sometimes think he’ll fall
But he takes it all in and never misses a beat
After all, here’s someone who’s done it all

The Boys Of Winter will be in town later on
For three months of joie de vivre
They’ll ride their fair share of winners
And then they’ll, well, pack up and leave

One wonders about colourful owner Nat Chan
And how he’ll wear his carefully coiffed hair
Will it be red or gold or have a purple hue?
Then again, does anyone really care?

Meanwhile, many questions will be answered
Like who will stay and who might go
Was Jamie Kah really once heading this way?
Do you know something we don’t know?

The bottom line’s that racing is back
A new season that will be what it is
It will also be what you make of it
Hopefully not like backing Nature Strip

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