HOW EFFECTIVELY IS HORSE RACING USING SOCIAL MEDIA? (AND THANK YOU, MICHAEL RODD)

By Hans Ebert
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Got a pocketful of dreams
And lotsa hope in my heart
Hope my ship comes in
In the shape of a horse
Lost my mind and lost my soul
Somewhere along the way
Will just kick back now
Let Mother Nature make my day

Gotta a lot of numbers
Just hope they all add up
Don’t wanna see them fade
Into a discardable paper cup
No time for looking down
And letting negativity get in the way
No need to go back into darkness
When it’s all about looking up…

HE

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THE HKJC AND ITS OWN PROJECT: RUNWAY

By Hans Ebert
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Too often they get lost in the shuffle. Lost in the column inches and tweets and talk and innuendos given to the the current jockey merry-go-round. But this season in particular, the equine talent in Hong Kong has never been better. Never has there been a better crop. They’ve come of age. A crop of extremely good young gallopers. Gallopers who could be anything.

There was the facile win of Glorious Forever at Sha Tin last Sunday. Glorious Forever. The younger brother of English import Time Warp who came into his own last season.

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FUNTING GOES GLOBAL…

By Hans Ebert
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While reading the SCMP’s chief racing writer Tom Biddington put forward his question as to why or when James McDonald isn’t or might possibly ride in Hong Kong, the talented young New Zealander was busy arguing his case after the running of the Ladbrokes Coongy Cup. This was yesterday on Caulfield Cup Day.

Originally called a dead heat between The Big Mac ridden and Godolphin owned Best Of Days and the Kerrin McEvoy ridden Mask Of Time, the latter fired in a protest. It was a justifiable one. As the protest dragged on, it didn’t look good for the connections of Best Of Days. The galloper seemed to slightly shift in on the other dead heater. James McDonald’s oratory skills must match his prowess in the saddle. The protest was finally overthrown.

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IT’S TIME FOR SOME FUNTING

By Hans Ebert
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It was exactly what was needed. Fun. Infectious fun. So infectious that the dancing magically morphed into a conga line. And all this taking place at a racetrack. At the venue known as Adrenaline of the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

The last race had been run and the international group of young millennials from the Beer Garden had been making their way up to Adrenaline to kick on before the last two races had been run.

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JOAO MOREIRA AND HOW FAMILY COMES FIRST. NOT DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND. REALLY.

By Hans Ebert
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True. It’s a little off kilter. A tad random. Joanna Lumley hosting a TV Special on 20 Years Of Black Eyed Peas.

Ok, let that sink in for a minute. Take a deep breath. Exhale slowly. Why, right? And why this weird combination? Something that’s come right outta Left Field. Personal thoughts? Absolutely fabulous. Daring to be randomly different.

It’s kinda like those Pop and Rock albums turned to mush by ageing celebrities like Telly Savalas. William Shatner. Pat Boone. Leonard Nimoy. Those recordings all had a certain kitsch value. Joao Moreira returning to Hong Kong to be stable jockey for Champion trainer John Size after leaving to fulfil his lifetime dream to ride in Japan, doesn’t have kitsch value. But it’s certainly caught many off guard.

Continue reading “JOAO MOREIRA AND HOW FAMILY COMES FIRST. NOT DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND. REALLY.”

WILL JOAO JOAO GET BACK TO HONG KONG (AND JOHN SIZE)?

By Hans Ebert
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Though one Joe- jockey Kanuchiro “Joe” Fujii, below, who racing fans in Australia, Korea and Singapore might remember, is believed to have passed the first hurdle- the extremely difficult written exam- towards being granted a full time license to ride in Japan, the Brazilian Joao- Joao Moreira, failed.

Joe Fujii really shouldn’t have a problem getting over the second hurdle: Spoken Japanese. He’s Japanese. Duh. Kanuchiro “Joe” Fujii has been trying to return home to his family and a full time JRA license from around 2015. It proves that gaining one of these licenses is no walk in the cherry blossom park.

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HORSE RACING AND THE UPHILL TASK OF WINNING OVER THOSE “YOUNGER PEOPLE”

By Hans Ebert
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Those with zero knowledge about advertising and marketing and not knowing the difference between promotions, marketing and PR talking about how something or another is “reaching younger people” always sets off alarm bells. Especially when this something or another has nothing in it for them. Those “younger people”. Like horse racing.

In Hong Kong, it’s taken the HKJC around eight years for the idea of a Happy Wednesday race meeting to evolve from what was once known as “Sassy Wednesday” to what it is now. Sassy. It sounded old. Looked old. Didn’t work. Who approved this? Something that looked like a tacky escort club in Macau? Only The Shadow knows.

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IT’S TOUGH ENOUGH OUT THERE WITHOUT ANY ADDED TOXICITY.

By Hans Ebert
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It’s tough out there these days. It seems like there’s no room for error. In every aspect of life. Like jockey James Doyle being criticised in many quarters for coming second on the Hong Kong owned Sea Of Class in the Arc at Longchamp despite others believing it was one of the best rides seen in a long time. And making time to look at matters closer to home base.

This World Gone Very Wrong and just what a tough audience to please no matter what one’s career might be was something brought home recently. This was when watching my friend Maricel perform at the Champagne Bar of the Grand Hyatt hotel in Hong Kong. It’s thinking just what a tough gig it is.

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WINX REWRITES HER OWN AMAZING NEXT CHAPTER

By Hans Ebert
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It might have answered the question about who’s really in charge. And it’s not Charles. Winx winning the Turnbull Stakes on Saturday was not just a Houdini act. It was an extraordinary horse showing off. Playing. Toying with everyone. Probably exploring new ways of winning.

Who knows what’s going through her mind? Now that she’s done it all and more, and with nothing else to prove, one can only assume that she’s decided to expand her repertoire.

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KARIS TEETAN: IT’S HIS TIME

By Hans Ebert
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Sometimes the script rewrites itself. Probably more often than we think. To those who follow Hong Kong racing, the mantra that the void left following Joao Moreira’s decision to roll the dice and try to ride in Japan on a full time basis has means “more opportunities for everyone else” has become a wee bit tiresome. It’s stating the obvious. Over and over again.

As in Seize The Day, when opportunities present themselves, it’s up to those who are ready, able and willing to step up to the plate. To hit that ball outta the park. And keep hitting those home runs.

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