By Hans Ebert

It’s of course their money and some of them deserve everything they get and don’t get, because most are shallow and pretty much know-it-alls who believe they know everything. They don’t. However, still very much a Hong Kong Belonger, and constantly hearing how it’s open season on this city’s horse owners at various thoroughbred sales, and how certain overseas bloodstock agents working with those sycophantic go-betweens dupe these people, is something tough to stomach.

Hopefully, having more bloodstock agents like Ian Sham who knows the ins, outs and sideways involved in being part of the game of racing will show these owners how to be less gullible and not continue to be taken for a ride.

Unlike myself, who these days flits in and out of the racing game and wish to keep my distance from all the politics, pettiness and everything else holding it back, Ian lives and inhales it all. It’s in his DNA.

Though a bloodstock agent, he hosts his own show about horse racing on cable TV, he works for a racing magazine and makes a point to know all those involved in this world- the movers, shakers, those well known wannabes and those some of us know will never be.

Though unfortunately knowing most of what Ian had to say in the video below about the pretzel logic and demands of many Hong Kong owners and how this is catered to by enablers, it was still a mild shock to the system to be reminded of just how whacked out some can be.

It was also thinking how this is a bilingual city rapidly becoming a trilingual city, which is having an impact on everything, and going to have an impact on the bloodstock business landscape, sooner rather than later.

Being so involved and genuinely passionate in Hong Kong and overseas racing and one of the new generation of the city’s international racing fraternity, Ian Sham has pretty much seen and heard it all. Like how it’s bad fung shui to have one’s lady friend wear red underwear to the races. One guesses that wearing no underwear is fine.

Also, how many local owners would prefer to have their horses with trainers who speak the same language: Cantonese and/or Mandarin.

There are, of course, then those “higher end” owners who are in racing for “face” and whose silks one sees going around week after week after week and demand that their purchases be with “brand” stables.

As mentioned earlier, like Lesley Gore once sang how it’s her party and she’ll cry if she wants to, it’s their money and money talks in any language, no matter what pretentious or nouveau riche gibberish this might be- especially during these lockdown days when life priorities have changed forever.

One thing I forgot to ask Ian is why in a city that prides itself in being the most international in the world and with the most international group of riders in the world, there’s such a paucity of non-Chinese owners. A question for next time…and perhaps together on a bilingual podcast.

#IanSham #bloodstockagent #HKracing #hongkong #horseracing #quirky #elitism