THE CONTINUING ADVENTURES OF HONG KONG RACING’S BUTCH AND SUNDANCE…

By Hans Ebert
Visit Hans-Ebert.com

A few years ago, many of us in Hong Kong would look at the race card and draw a line over whatever it was that Douglas Whyte was riding. He seemed to be thrown some scraps and just going around for the hell of it and probably far more interested in having the opportunity to ride a winner in Perth. And which he did until the HKJC correctly changed the Rules about Hong Kong based jockeys making those often fruitless overseas flying visits.

Continue reading “THE CONTINUING ADVENTURES OF HONG KONG RACING’S BUTCH AND SUNDANCE…”

THE IMPORTANCE OF LOR AND ORDER

By Hans Ebert
Visit Hans-Ebert.com

While Zac Purton chills out somewhere serving out the rest of his enforced holiday aka three day suspension, Silvestre de Sousa and Karis Teetan are apparently bobbing up and down to keep their rides on Dark Dream and Perfect Match, respectively.

Both riders were deputising for Purton at Sha Tin on Sunday, both won and both gallopers, especially the Frankie Lor trained Dark Dream, look like going to the uppermost of the toppermost, Johnny.

Continue reading “THE IMPORTANCE OF LOR AND ORDER”

HORSE RACING, “YOUNGER PEOPLE” AND THE GIFT OF GIVING

By Hans Ebert
Visit Hans-Ebert.com

If someone who follows horse racing religiously and does the form, understands handicapping, track conditions, times, odds, track work etc, everything that follows below is not for you.

You’re what racing clubs put in the “hardcore” basket and say they know exactly your wants and needs and cater to all of these. Maybe.

Some might say that this is pretty narrow minded thinking- continuing to preach to the converted. But if this captive audience continues to make turnover tick and tock, why fix the wheel when it ain’t broke?

Why?

Well, coming from the music industry, and having seen this wheel fall off when music fans understood how to get music for free and saw the compact disc along with a music channel like MTV in its death throes- all those superficial VJs seeing their fifteen minutes of fame go up in flames was awful to watch- nothing is ever what it seems. Or goes according to plan. The consumer is always in the driver’s seat.

Continue reading “HORSE RACING, “YOUNGER PEOPLE” AND THE GIFT OF GIVING”

THE MAGNET THAT IS HONG KONG RACING

By Hans Ebert
Visit Hans-Ebert.com

In the end, it’s always about the money. And there’s nothing wrong with this. It’s nothing personal, it’s only business, though we now know this to be just a tag line and how, as Dylan once sang, “Even the President of the United States must sometimes stand naked.” Now there’s an awful visual.

Getting back to money, it’s what drives every business. At least today it is. Even the business of love and marriage. And horse racing. What’s the business model to horse racing? Create a race or races between a group of horses- a game of chance and consequences, where there’s big money up for grabs…if one wins. And there are various ways of winning. Some, not so obvious.

How one tries to get a slice of the winning pie is a form of business because there’s work involved. Even hobbies can become businesses. It’s about the money money money and millennials and oldsters and hipsters and more money money money and entitlement. And it works in different ways for different customer demographics. It involves the entire racing industry. Some racing clubs can be The Good Ship Lollipop. Others are The Titanic.

Continue reading “THE MAGNET THAT IS HONG KONG RACING”

TIME TO CHANGE FREQUENCIES, HKJC. PLEASE.

By Hans Ebert
Visit Hans-Ebert.com

It was one of those rare- and often, Old Mother Hubbard’s bare cupboard- an all weather race meeting- at night and at Sha Tin- on a Wednesday. Yesterday. Golly gosh, Gee, I don’t know. Remember yesterday?

Those of us who live in Hong Kong, well, most of us, know what this means- eight races that one can either take or leave and, unlike a Happy Wednesday at Happy Valley racecourse, something that, especially on bilingual Channel 668 on NOW TV, takes one back to living with the folks and watching programmes like “Highway Patrol”, “Laramie”, “Bonanza”, Mrs Steed and when Roger Moore starred as Ivanhoe.

Continue reading “TIME TO CHANGE FREQUENCIES, HKJC. PLEASE.”

GETTING TO KNOW THE WORLD OF MUSIC ALL OVER AGAIN

By Hans Ebert
Visit Hans-Ebert.com

Yesterday, popular record store HMV announced that it’s closing its doors in Hong Kong after being here for over 25 years.

A girl working behind the bar of a hotel lounge mentioned the news. In her late Twenties and early Thirties, she was talking about how her only store in Hong Kong to purchase music as a physical product- the CD- had gone. How streaming music and creating a Spotify Playlist was not for her. How there was just something “not real” about “this music”.

Continue reading “GETTING TO KNOW THE WORLD OF MUSIC ALL OVER AGAIN”

CORN, CRICKET, KOHLI AND A GENTLE LYON

By Hans Ebert
Visit Hans-Ebert.com

Why there’s this undue pressure in some sectors for the current Aussie cricket team to be more aggressive? To engage in tough talking “sledging”? How this is the way Aussies rule and intimidate the opposition. Please. It’s not only corny. It sounds soooooo contrived. Childish. Laughable.

What was heard through those stump mics during the second test match between Australia and India was embarrassing. “Witty banter”? It came across as scripted and irrelevant piffle.

The Indians trying to engage in “sledging” was idiotic. It was high camp Bollywood ballyhoo.

Continue reading “CORN, CRICKET, KOHLI AND A GENTLE LYON”

IS HORSE RACING READY FOR IGNATIUS WOLVERINE-CHEUNG?

By Hans Ebert
Visit Hans-Ebert.com

Ignatius Cheung, below is a little man, perhaps a little strange to some, with big plans. Plans to revolutionise horse racing, worldwide.

Known to friends as Iggy, the American born Chinese-Mongolian entrepreneur plans to become the racing world’s first horse owner, trainer and jockey with his own stables located wherever there’s horse racing.

Having been a child stunt rider in movies ranging from “The Black Stallion” to “Ben Hur”, and describing himself as a “hoarse whisperer” able to communicate with horses through a special technique learned when living with the nomadic tribes in Inner Mongolia and studying Mongolian throat music, Ignatius Wolverine-Cheung, the only son of billionaire and controversial Forex trader Augustus Wolverine-Cheung, below, came into his own when creating Wolverine Enterprises and its privately held computer chip business.

Continue reading “IS HORSE RACING READY FOR IGNATIUS WOLVERINE-CHEUNG?”

IS THIS ALL THERE IS?

By Hans Ebert
Visit Hans-Ebert.com

We were having dinner with a few cricketers over the weekend. Not just any cricketers. World class cricketers. Guys with whom I was and still are in awe. But heroes rarely last forever. Most eventually disappoint.

These cricketers were talking about their complete disinterest playing in a five day Test match, let alone a series. How much discipline was needed. Being kept under lock and key. Every move being scrutinised. But with there being the 20/20 game, One Day Tests, it was all very much about big money for almost nothing and plenty of models, actresses and groupies for free. It was a Dire Straits song.

Continue reading “IS THIS ALL THERE IS?”