All this time with nothing for many to do except discuss vaccinations and vaccines and the side effects of Jabber The Hut allows one the freedom to look at everything differently. Guess this is why whatever it is we’re caught up in is a crossfire hurricane of The New Abnormal.

Sometimes- not often- it flips everything on its head so there’s a new appreciation for interest in something that’s perhaps waning. After all, how many even care about keeping up with the Kardashians anymore?

Whether it knows it or not, the Hong Kong Jockey Club has the hottest ticket in town- and different to the dozen members of the boy band Mirror who has given creaky, and sometimes creepy, old Canto Pop a different type of facelift- a positive distraction from bubbles and bubbleheads of gloom and doom.

The four hours of horse racing that the Club gives us for free twice a week is its very own reality show with the most international racing cast in the world. This cast is like the city that once was Hong Kong.

We receive “the content” twice a week. The takeaway is up to us. It’s very different demographics watching and with extremely different ways of absorbing the show. Think Sgt Pepper’s and Billy Shears and all the other characters in Pepperland.

At Shatin Racecourse this afternoon, the star of the show was the charismatic Brazilian Magic Man – Joao Moreira. He always does his best to exude positivity, but today, this Richter scale hit a new high with his wins on three young gallopers who could be anything- Courier Wonder, Killer Bee and the latest member of the threesome in the strangely named Drops Of God.

Photo by @wallacewanck

Who cares about names? Robert Zimmerman became Bob Dylan and the Quarrymen ended up being the Beatles.

Joao Moreira became the ringmaster today along with his trusty steeds.

Photo by @wallacewanck

The audience has always loved the ongoing horse opera of him competing with the Zac Attack- Australian Zac Purton- for the limelight and the title of Champion Hong Kong Jockey.

Theirs is a seesawing battle of tactics and drama for supremacy that brings in the Ringling Brothers racing media to help enhance the various stories.

Far more importantly, all this infotainment attracts the local audience who keep to their own script.

On Wednesday night, the Zac Attack, the only jockey to have a burger named in his honour, couldn’t fulfill his riding obligations because of back spasms.

The next day, some in the audience cracked that he’ll be good as new if he won Sunday’s Group 1 Champions And Chater Cup. Money, they said, is always the best cure-all for everything.

In the big race today, the Zac Attack rode the mighty Exultant, one of the favourites for the race though the galloper’s best days are behind him. Exultant ran a game third.

The winner was a Chilean galloper owned by a Hong Kong Chinese businessman who enjoys his racing and looks outside of the square for equine talent. His other runner in the race was from Brazil.

Training Panfield was South African Tony Millard. The winning rider was the Mauritian Magician- Karis Teetan.

It’s been a rollercoaster week for the popular rider with all the ups and downs posted on social media. After today, there’s a new chapter to add.

This, the Obi-Wan Kenobi of Hong Kong racing that is John Size who trained a magnificent treble, the Chadster, The Poon Train etc are what makes horse racing in Hong Kong so darn entertaining.

Providing this entertainment with the extra kick needed is the interactivity that takes place organically amongst the local racing fans. There’s no need to buy views, “likes” or hashtags for a smidgen of Instafame.

Depending on what they believe to have relevance to what’s discovered, those outside of the “racing bubble” always write their own scripts.

They are Lewis Carroll, Roald Dahl and George Lucas all rolled into one and keep everything keeping on…

It’s fascinating stuff- often goofy, but we all need a plate of goofballs and wonton noodles once in a while.

For someone like myself who flits in and out of a pastime often needed to clear the head and, in some ways, replenish the soul with other stuff in order to reboot one’s thinking about more important things, horse racing is a godsend.

Perhaps, not exactly, Drops Of God, but enough sustenance that provides a much needed diversion and detour from what can often be the grim realities of vaccinated life.

Long may this horse opera run.

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