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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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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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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TAKE A BOW, HONG KONG JOCKEY CLUB

Those of us who’ve been in Hong Kong for some time either forget or take it for granted. Worse, we allow that now well-known Hong Kong cynicism to take over where too many try to see what’s wrong rather than what’s right.

No one, however, can ignore how swiftly and effectively the Hong Kong Jockey Club reacted to the horrific tragedy after the races at Sha Tin on Saturday.

This was when a bus carrying passengers from the racecourse crashed leaving 19 dead and over 66 people injured, some in serious condition. Let’s not forget the emotional scars that will need healing.

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WHY “ONLY” AN ARARAT MEETING NEEDS SOME ANSWERS, SAYS KEYSER SOZE

By Keyser Soze

It was “only” a very very average Thursday race meeting at Ararat, but average or not, in this day and age of technology and speed of delivery, what happens anywhere doesn’t stay there. It travels. And if the news is bad, it travels faster and picks up pace as it goes like some runaway train.

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BECAUSE HORSE RACING SHOULD INSPIRE. SPREAD THE WORD

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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Maybe there’s a need to feel that things are so bad there’s a need to do something about it. Or perhaps it’s some small thing that tells you there’s always hope at the next turn. That depending on maybe where you are in life, there’s a role for us to play even when it comes to something called horse racing.

As a music person, as someone in marketing, as a student of the arts, horse racing has led me down many corridors and avenues of dark and light. It’s been a place and space in time of many twists and turns and how to win, but not necessarily the way many think of the sport and winning.

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HORSE RACING, YOU HAVE A PROBLEM

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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It was a tweet sent out from here recently and after the races at Sha Tin half in jest. But also in all seriousness. It was about how horse racing needs a Roger Federer if it’s ever going to be more than what it is today.

Today is an important word, because today isn’t yesterday and nothing can afford to be stuck in the past as there’s so much of everything today and easy access to a buffet of choices called-wait for it- competition. So much competition for the same consumer dollar. Often, many in horse racing seem to think they’re the only game in town and not having really thought through what it takes to be in the game.

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