THE HKJC AND ITS FIELD(S) OF DREAMS

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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Not to sound corny or come across as if alien fairies abducted me to visit Never Never Land before returning me to Planet Earth, but after a somewhat low key start to this racing season in Hong Kong, it’s suddenly blossomed into a field of dreams happening in the real world.

While Adele once lamented how “we could have had it all”, someone’s suddenly pressed the On button and the show has begun in earnest with almost every meeting over the past few months giving racing fans something new to cheer about.

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MISSIONARY SHOES AND BIBLE BLUES (A SONG CYCLE)

It might have not gone according to plan and with no Happy Ever After, but the time spent together when the bells rang out and the music chimed in perfect harmony will always be there.

You were the girl with the missionary shoes, short brown hair and bible rules, and I was the Saint and sinner sent your way.

Messengers have a strange way of appearing when least expected. And so, there we were building an existence in the Lost And Found.

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THE GAME OF THRONES BEHIND AUSTRALIAN RACING’S TEXTGATE SCANDAL

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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While many in Hong Kong and his fans overseas wait with bated breath to see which Pakistan Star will show up at Sha Tin this afternoon for the Hong Kong Gold Cup- and try their luck at getting even part of a whopping Triple Trio jackpot that will be close to HK$30 million- those given the job of leading horse racing in Australia are tackling the problem of yet another shoe having dropped earlier this week robbing the country of even more confidence in the integrity of the sport.

Watching things unfold, very telling are the different communications paths taken by Victoria’s Racing Minister Martin Pakula and Racing New South Wales’ man of the people Peter V’landys. Yes, they both have beards and smiles that aren’t really convincing.

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WHO IS AUSTRALIAN RACING’S REAL KEYSER SOZE?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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Those paid and given the job of leading horse racing in Australia need a swift kick up their backsides or else be forced to look at themselves in the mirror and see what and where it is in today’s constantly changing world, and have a long hard look at its future. But then again…

Of course, this is only one person’s opinion who over the years has hummed and hawed about having even a part time interest in the pastime. Of course, there are many passionate people in horse racing who truly believe in the industry and that’s fine. It’s part of their DNA and lifestyle. Is it for me? Was it ever for me or was I just swept along, especially in the late Eighties during the Melbourne Spring Carnival by those enablers who hung onto my coattails for a free ride and a lifestyle most could never afford? Horse racing is often one long eco system of enablers. But who saw it “back in the day” when everything seemed possible and it was a different world when well known crooks were “colourful characters” with everyone mixing openly with everyone else at JJ’s at Crown.

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THE LOWELL GEORGE JOURNEY OF LIFE AND LIGHT

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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Sometimes things happen for a reason- not often, but when they’re special things that reset your thinking and help bring about some form of clarity, it’s no doubt coming from some higher power without tripping over that unforgiving ninth step.

The night before I had seen someone I had known for around a decade have a meltdown. It was the alcohol talking mixed with anger, frustration and desperation. When after years of trying and with still nothing to show for it and all those wasted years trying to be what you hoped to hell you’d be with nothing to show for it, something snaps.

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HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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The subject comes up often enough, but as there are no rules, there are no solutions. Simply put in a world that’s lost its way, social media is the genie that was allowed to pop out and can’t be put back in the bottle.

Whether one likes it or not, every delivery platform offers everyone the complete freedom to express themselves. Hiding behind Freedom Of Speech has set a dangerous precedent. Add Freedom Of Expression and entitlement into the mix and it’s created a world with no priorities- a Mad Max type of dystopian lawlessness where everything is out there and available for free- music, movies, television series, pornography and everything else one can hoard. We are seeing a generation of hoarders stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again.

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THE MIRACLE TO HORSE RACING THAT IS PETER V’LANDYS

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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Though unsure whether he actually thinks big or uses quotable big sound bytes, what makes Peter V’Landys come across as a combination of Thor, Darth Vader and Charlton Heston is his unwavering confidence in everything he says. Sure, often, if one really listens to his Teachings, and sermons, they have more holes than the black one in Calcutta, but he has the knack and incredible ability to impress so many in the land down under.

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NOTHINGILIKEMORETHANWINNING IN CLASSIC CUP STYLE

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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It was a horror day for most punters in the land down under yesterday where many “good things” declared by racing pundits were rocked and rolled.

The biggest upset win came from a galloper well known to many in Hong Kong named Redkirk Warrior. He’s still known as Redkirk Warrior, but he’s gone through a personality change. While being trained to be a stayer here as he had been in the UK over 2000 metres, the team of Hayes, Hayes and Dabernig has turned him into an outstanding sprinter.

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WHEN ARE MEN GOING TO SAY #USTOO?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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It was only a matter of time before #MeToo broke the sound barrier and entered the music industry though I must say that from where I was, I never saw anything untoward going on, certainly not in the UK and not in the Asia Pacific region. The U.S. I can’t talk about because it was foreign soil. But #MeToo continues to “trend” and one has to wonder what other industries will be swept along with what has mainly been a Hollywood created red carpet product and whether there will be some surprising U-turns and curve balls and where it’s all going to end.

The world can’t afford to be walking on eggshells and looking over one’s shoulder. It’s not the way to get on with life. It’s not providing any answers other than creating an environment of fear.

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THE SERIES? WHATEVER…

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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Two days earlier, a key player in sports entertainment, but with little or no interest in horse racing was offering their thoughts on the future of the sport- the main point being that the format has to change, or else there needs to be more options other than what’s offered today. This might sound sacrilegious to the old school and hardcore racing crowd, but his first thought was that there will be the day when there might be less races in a meeting without the thirty minute intervals. Of course, this is something asked by many who are new to a day at the races: Why can’t there be less time between races?

He next asked if a race meeting could “mix it up more” by having some races where only female riders competed against each other and other races where they would ride against their male counterparts. He wasn’t being sexist. Just thinking that this might have sponsorship appeal and create more on-course interest. There were other ideas, but ideas remain ideas unless being able to jump over various rules firmly in place, ignoring the joys of over-thinking and that refusal to change.

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