It was a Wednesday night in December of 2012 and I was still trying my darnedest to understand the inner workings of the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

After twelve years as Executive Director with the Regional Office of EMI Music Asia, it was also about still trying to see where to take this fairly vague but very interesting idea called Happy Wednesday.

Frankly, I think everything was still new to everyone on this particular night of the International Jockeys Competition.

The visiting team for HKIR week from Perth racing who we had met the night before for dinner were already by the paddock area and ready to take in their first day of Hong Kong racing at the iconic Happy Valley Racecourse.

Could be wrong, but Gai and Robbie Waterhouse might have made a cameo appearance a bit later in the evening at what was then a work in progress venue known as Adrenaline.

The excellent Welsh singer-songwriter Ben Semmens and his backing band were the regulars playing both there, and, later in the evening, a short set at the Beer Garden.

With so much happening and so many overseas guests attending this particular Happy Wednesday night, those thundering hooves in my head were galloping faster than the races going on at the track.

I had no idea who won what. What I do remember is that singer Jennifer Palor, someone I hadn’t seen in ages, was brought in to be part of the entertainment fare for the night. Eight years later and she’s still part of the team.

At Adrenaline that night was the attractive racing personality Francesca Cumani. It wasn’t difficult not to be smitten by her. I certainly was- clinging to her every word and fixated by just how good the pair of beige flats she was wearing looked on her. The lady knows a thing or two about style…

While busy mingling and mangling, I noticed a couple standing quietly in the corner by themselves and seemingly not knowing anyone.

Not having watched any of the races, I was to learn that this soft spoken person was with his wife. His name was Joao Moreira and representing Singapore, he had just won the International Jockeys Championship.

We made some small talk and I mentioned how maybe he should try his luck in Hong Kong. How he might do well. He was no doubt relieved to see me leave and return to the team from Perth before going back to worship at the feet of Francesca Cumani and her beige flats.

Thinking back to those Happy Wednesday nights and the many After Race parties at Adrenaline, it makes one realise just how special those nights were. That’s how it always is, isn’t it? Joni Mitchell sang about it on “Big Yellow Taxi”: How you don’t really know what you’ve got till it’s gone.

As racing personality Bruce Clark from Australia reminded me yesterday, those nights at Adrenaline were where we got to know each other better than anywhere else through talking and sharing and with the ‘live’ band being the soundtrack to those moments.

Those moments will be back. In the meantime, those of us who were there, especially on that December night in 2012, have their own memories of what happened at Adrenaline- like Francesca Cumani and her beige flats, listening to Jennifer Palor after almost a decade and meeting, for the first time, a very nice person named Joao Moreira.

#HKIR #HKIJC2012 #JoaoMoreira #JenniferPalor #FrancescaCumani #HappyWednesday #Adrenaline