THE CURIOSITY PIECE THAT IS “RACING TO WIN”

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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Yeah, yeah, Pakistan Star won his 1000 metre trial with Tommy Berry aboard earlier today, and with Silvestre de Sousa set to ride the galloper in the 1600m QE11 Cup. We’re not going to be part of another round of hype. A trial is not a race. Okay? How many trials has Pakistan Star won or passed? How many races has he wanted to win?

What we have always wondered out aloud is instead of these bans, tedious trials and jockeys merry-go-round, why, undoubtedly a talented galloper with a mind of his own, couldn’t just be reunited with his original jockey- Matthew Chadwick? Did Chadwick ever have to resort to flogging Pakistan Star? Don’t think so.

Surely all his antics AFTER Chadwick lost the ride following an unexpected loss has seen the galloper become so erratic and stubborn that even a chain reaction of so much of everything to mend his waywardness including The Horse Whisperer being brought to Hong Kong to work the oracle, has NOT brought about any real change. If it had there would have been no need for today’s trial in order to receive another passing grade to race again.

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AND NOW, ABOUT THE BUSINESS OF HORSE RACING AND REAL LEADERSHIP…

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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Perhaps racing writers have realised by now that apart from being pigeonholed with this label, horse racing is a very specialised field. It’s also a very narrow one when it comes to readership. And like newspapers moving almost completely into the online world and hoping to be a subscriber-based product where content is king and competing for readership in a crowded information highway, it means being about diversity. Really diversifying.

Continuing to play a role in horse racing could mean looking at adding more strings to one’s bow. Just as Rock journalism suddenly disappeared after less than a decade, horse racing writers are most definitely needed, but newspaper editors and others will and have become more selective in who they use. And how. Many don’t know because it’s not a personal priority.

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A QUIET BEGINNING WITH A STING IN THE TAIL

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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The sudden rain bucketing down probably helped turn what looked like a fairly predictable race meeting at Sha Tin on Sunday into a mixture of weirdness, definitely plenty of surprises and the continuing adventures of John Size and The Comeback Kid- Olivier Doleuze.

The weirdness was seeing all the dignitaries gathered to present the CUHK Alumni Cup, but with there being no winning trainer and jockey. With no one there any the wiser, an objection had been lodged by the rider of the runner up- Tommy Berry- against the horse and rider first past the post- Karis Teetan on favourite Namjong Plus. And so the HKJC executives and everyone else who were part of the presentation party kinda hung around for what seemed an inordinate amount of time. One almost expected someone to break into a soft shoe shuffle.

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THE MANY DIFFERENT FACES OF HORSE RACING AND DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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It’s basic psychology: When good things happen to good people there’s a feeling of happiness that’s contagious. It’s been mentioned here many times: It’s The Likability Factor.

So when popular Italian jockey Alberto Sanna won the first race of the Happy Wednesday Goes Korean night- his tenth winner during his short term riding stint in Hong Kong, which has now rightfully seen his license extended until the end of this season- we cheered him on. The Italian girls in the Beer Garden screamed loudest for “Mambo Italiano”. He seems a good man, grateful to be here and knowing there’s always room for improvement.

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WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE AND WHAT’S AFFECTING RACING IN AUSTRALIA?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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“Horse racing in Australia is its own worst enemy”. I’ve been carrying these words with me now for over a week. They keep playing in my head with me thinking when’s all this going to end, where’s it going to crash and burn, when’s Humpty Dumpty going to be an omelette, how did it all become so much of everything, who’s minding the store…

During a recent whistle stop trip to Singapore and then to Sydney for business, I managed to meet up with a longtime friend in racing. He’s given up being in the game, but remains close to some youngsters coming up the ranks who he believes in. More importantly, he understands their need for counselling and mentoring to face what lies ahead. He’s seen it all before- all those one meets on the way up and the sudden lack of a safety net on the way down. As he put it, “That trip to hell is when you’re dancing with the devil because he’s the only company you have.”

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LET’S MOVE AWAY FROM THE SHEEPLES, SHALL WE?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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It really doesn’t matter. Nothing really matters, because there’s nothing we- you and I- can do about any of it- Facebook, all the many ills plaguing what was baptised “social media” and which all the time was Rosemary’s Baby grown up and in control of malleable minds feeding them with more and more and more clutter until priorities became lost in the shuffle.

The Bill Cosby trial, Trump, the Russians, the Chinese, Fleetwood Mac. Whatever it is that interests others are doing, but which might not be on the same page as the hymn book from which you’re singing is often just more clutter- if you choose to allow all this randomness in. It would be boring as hell if we all fell in line and became lemmings following the Pied Piper of Hamlyn. There’s a necessity to move away from the sheeples. It’s called survival and it took a houseguest to remind me of all this. It was the wake up call needed to still “belong”, but also remain detached enough to focus on individual thinking. Leave the sheeples behind. They’ll be fine. Like misery, mediocrity loves company.

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ANYONE ELSE SEARCHING FOR THE INNER LIGHT?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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“The more one travels, the less one knows”. George Harrison sang that line on “The Inner Light” about how life flows within you and without you. It was one of those token Harrison songs that had to be included somewhere and ended up as the throwaway B Side to the Beatles’ hit single “Lady Madonna”.

Here was this meditative raga based track with George singing about something very spiritual. I didn’t get it and, probably like most, just ignored it. But as one grows older, the song has taken on a new relevance.

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THE UPS, DOWNS AND THE LUCK OF THE IRISH IN HONG KONG RACING…

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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When owners get involved in giving trainers and jockeys instructions on how to ride their horses, especially in a big Group race, the odds are that things are going to go horribly wrong. And which is what happened in the running of the Chairman’s Trophy at Sha Tin last Sunday. Too many cooks spoil the broth and all that other puff pastry stuff.

The moment one saw Karis Teetan bustling Fifty Fifty out and trying to get the usual back marker to lead at all costs, one just sat back and watched a comedy of errors take place. Forget the oddity of seeing stayer Time Warp starting the 2 to 1 favourite and the usual backing by the loyalists of Pakistan Star.

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THE PAKISTAN STAR BOOK OF SONGS!!!

What the critics say!!!

“Heart wrenching!”
“Digs deep into the human psyche!”
“No horsing around!”
“Complex yet compelling and challenging!”
“Deeper than Dylan!”

Release Me

Hey Joe

Stubborn Kind Fella

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

Bad

Shining Star

Don’t Fence Me In

Nowhere To Run

There’s No Business Like Show Business

I Was Born Under A Wandering Star

I’m Too Sexy

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

Get Back

You’re So Vain

My Way

Comes with a FREE box of plush toys!!!

Released exclusively on Starstruck Records.

WHERE ARE HORSE RACING’S GREAT STORYTELLERS?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
Visit Hans-Ebert.com

A friend in music and I were chatting the other day about everything and more including sex, lies and videotapes. He asked whether, as there once were Rock journalists when a publication like Rolling Stone was relevant, does horse racing have or ever had Horse Racing Journalists.

There are of course some very good and knowledgable racing writers and reporters around the world who know their subject matter and are always first with the news. But is there a place and audience for racing journalists?

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