There was a time when terrestrial television station HKTVB Pearl had an animated character named Freddy to tell viewers what to expect the next day.
Why? Who knows? But every day, Freddy would either melt, or his teeth would chatter and to symbolise a drop in temperature, clouds would fall down over Freddy who would squeal that “It’s faaaaaaaaliiiiing”.
Twitter has made everyone think they’re a “writer” though many still don’t know the difference between “they’re”, “their” and “there”, which, one supposes, is no different to many calling themselves “musicians” because they can tap a few keys on their laptop to “create” some sounds.
It’s become a push button world where everything has been reduced to being accepted by those with a minimum attention span as there’s just so much of everything and this voracious appetite to inhale it all in and damned the torpedoes of selectivity and exclusivity.
It was after the races at Sha Tin and I was at a hotel lounge surrounded by mainly expats wearing bow ties and talking loudly about “the locals”. Nothing wrong with this and power to the bow tie and the expat lifestyle enjoyed in Hong Kong with its expat packages and fringe benefits. Or is there?
“It’s a given”. “It’s a moral”. “All Tommy needs to do is just sit on him”. “He just needs to be ridden on a long rein.”
For the last week, that’s all many have heard about how Pakistan Star will win the Champions and Chater Cup this afternoon with new race rider Tommy Berry aboard and who’s twice trialled one of the fascinating horses we have come across.
It’s not so much that he’s lost his mojo, but realising that even magic men run out of tricks or that others learn new ones which work better.
Happy Valley has never been happy hunting grounds for Joao Moreira and he’ll be the first to admit it. And though he rode a double, at least to someone who’s written about him being “poetry in motion” and “being one with the horse”, what at least I saw on Happy Wednesday looked like a desperate chihuahua zig zagging all over the place and getting two winners, but, overall, looking nothing out of the ordinary. He must have been having an off day.
And so “American Idol” and “The Voice” had their finales a day apart from each other. Who won? Anyone care? Really?
Having watched each sporadically and appalled at the lack of talent on both shows, the programming/content/whatever proved just how much the world has changed and as Pete Towshend wrote, We Won’t Get Fooled Again.
It was a four timer for Zac Purton at Sha Tin on Sunday including, below, the first win in Hong Kong of the former Bott/Waterhouse trained Montreal, which means he’s only four wins behind Jockey Premiership leader Joao Moreira.
With the Brazilian Magic Man forced to sit out two upcoming race meetings after pleading guilty to a careless riding charge, the rampaging Zac Attack can afford to chillax a little bit and smell the dim sum. Not that he will. There’s too much at stake to drop his guard. Joao Moreira is no pushover.
Our heads are still spinning over all the reasons being discussed, especially online in Chinese amongst local racing fans, as to why owner Albert Hung moved his horses Rocketeer, Pablosky and Ruthven earlier this week from the stable of John Moore to that of Frankie Lor.
While passionate racing fan Andrew Hawkins, Hong Kong racing’s Jimmy Olsen of Twitter, who lives and breathes horse racing announced this “news” in English on Friday, the Chinese online world was in a tizz with various conspiracy theories the day before. Hong Kong racing fans thrive on conspiracy theories. It keeps that long train of intrigue and innuendo running.
“They almost never get the credit they deserve. Never!” Someone with us at the races on Wednesday night at Happy Valley was both happy and frustrated after local trainer Me Tsui, below, had trained his third winner of the night. Tsui, below, went on to train four winners in the eight race card.
Apprentice Jack H.N.Wong, often overlooked when compared to the column inches devoted to the other two apprentices riding in Hong Kong right now, and especially the expatriate riders, rode off with the Jockey Challenge. He also completely out rode Joao Moreira most of the night with a brilliant ride to win aboard Good For You. This season’s Jack H.N.Wong is a new, improved model.
The remarkable thing about the news that John Size has been inducted into the Australian Racing Hall Of Fame is that most of his success has taken place in Hong Kong. But for a born and bred Australian to succeed so magnificently on “foreign soil” and having started his career here with only 19 horses yet went on to beat the great Ivan Allan by two to win the Hong Kong Trainers Championship in his first season, says much about the man wherever in the world he is.
As then Chief Steward of the HKJC John Schreck aka “The Sheriff” commented at the time, “I think what Mr Size has done reflects greatly on Australian racing people, for which I am very grateful.”